Keeping Kids Healthy – 1 Choice at a Time
Author: Shannon Miller
We all know that there are foods we should keep our kids away from and foods we should have them eat on a regular basis – food choices are a very important part of keeping children healthy.
According to the “We Can” campaign associated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, food choices can be classified in 3 major ways: GO, SLOW, and WHOA.
This fun method might make it easier for you to communicate with your children which kinds of foods they should eat more often (or less often) than others.
GO foods are…lowest in fat and added sugar; an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, and fairly low in calories. GO foods include fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, or canned), whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk products, lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, egg whites, or egg substitute. Partake in GO foods often!
SLOW foods are…higher in fat, added sugar, and/or calories than GO foods. SLOW foods include vegetables with added fat, white refined bread flour, low-fat mayonnaise, and 2 percent low-fat milk. Eat SLOW foods only sometimes.
WHOA foods are…the highest in fat and/or added sugar and may be low in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. WHOA foods are also calorie dense, which refers to a small portion of the food item being loaded with calories. Examples of WHOA foods include whole milk, cheese, fried potatoes, croissants, muffins, butter, and creamy salad dressing. Eat WHOA foods once in a while – when you do have them, remember portion size.
TIP: What will you do this week to teach your kids about making healthy food choices? Remember, the best way to learn sometimes is by example!
Source: “We Can! Parent Tips: Making Healthier Food Choices.” National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.