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Eat Well, Play Well
– At Home!
Home and family have a huge impact on a child's nutrition and health. Parents are important role models for healthy
eating and have the opportunity to help children develop sound eating habits that will last for a lifetime. If you eat a
variety of healthy foods, chances are your children will too.
Make Time for Breakfast
Children should start the day with a good breakfast to
feel and do their best. Children who eat breakfast are
more alert at school and have healthier weights than
those who skip breakfast. They are also more likely to
get the nutrients they need each day.
Stock up - Keep your kitchen stocked with breakfast
staples such as whole grain breads and cereals,
milk, yogurt, muffins, frozen waffles or pancakes,
fruit and fruit juices, eggs, nut butter (e.g. peanut,
almond) and cheese.
Get ready - Spend a few minutes each evening
preparing for breakfast the next day. Set out cereal
boxes and the toaster, set the table, cut up fruit.
Give it time - Wake up a little earlier so that
everyone has time to eat breakfast. This is also a
good time to talk about everyone's plans for the
Make it a family affair - Involve everyone in
choosing the foods, preparing breakfast, or cleaning
Keep it balanced: Aim to include foods from at least
3 of the 4 food groups from Eating Well with
Canada’s Food Guide.
Liven up breakfast with these fun ideas:
Whole grain waffles, cut into sticks and dipped in
unsweetened apple sauce
Oatmeal topped with berries and vanilla yogurt
Fruit smoothie (blend milk, yogurt, fresh or frozen fruit)
with a small whole grain muffin
Whole wheat tortilla rolled up with peanut butter
and shredded apple
Grilled cheese sandwich with melon slices
Dry cereal or trail mix stirred into plain yogurt
topped with fruit salad
Whole wheat pancakes spread lightly with almond butter
and topped with sliced banana
Scrambled egg sprinkled with shredded cheddar
cheese on a toasted whole wheat English muffin
Pack it up! For simple ideas on packing healthy school lunches, see Eat Well, Play Well At School.
Snack Time!
Children need snacks. Include foods from Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide when planning snacks. Healthy snacks
can fuel your growing child with energy and nutrients. The key is to provide foods that are both nutritious and great
tasting. Try these simple snacks:
Homemade granola bars or oatmeal cookies, milk
Homemade trail mix: dry whole grain cereal (e.g. o’s
or squares), dried fruit (e.g. raisins, cranberries),
pretzels, seeds
Raw vegetables with hummus or black bean dip
Yogurt with cut up fruit for dipping
Whole grain crackers topped with cheddar cheese and
slices of pear
Chopped hard-boiled egg stuffed in mini pitas with
100% vegetable juice
Apples slices spread lightly with peanut butter
Fresh or canned fruits (unsweetened), small whole
grain muffin
Do Dinner – Together!
Children who eat home-prepared meals are more likely to get more milk products; fruits, vegetables, and other fibre-rich
foods; and fewer fried foods and soft drinks than children who eat out. Try these tips for quick and easy family dinners:
Plan ahead - Spend some time planning your dinner meals for the week. Make your grocery list based on your
Make the most of your time - Cook bigger batches of foods such as casseroles, stews, or rice in bulk, freezing
several portions to enjoy on days when you are in a hurry.
Break a few rules - Try foods you usually eat for breakfast or lunch, such as pancakes, waffles, French toast,
eggs, soup or sandwiches for dinner.
Try something new - Cookbooks such as Cook! by Dietitians of Canada offer lots of ideas for tasty dinners that
are easy to prepare.
Create family time - Turn off the TV and enjoy time for your family to come together over a home-cooked meal.
Offer Healthy Drinks
Stock the Fridge – Keep drinks with low or no sugar handy such as a pitcher of cold water and milk.
Cut back – Keep sugary drinks out of the house most of the time.
Role with it! – Be a role model for your kids. When you make healthy drink choices, your family will too! For more
on healthy drinks for your children, check out Sugary Drink Sense.
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