You are here

Go Healthy

It All Begins with You! training sessions educate child care practitioners about healthy habits for adults and being a positive role model for children. Please visit the Go Learn! section of this website to find out how to register and to see other excellent professional learning opportunities related to your important role in children’s development of healthy habits!

It’s no secret that kids try to do everything adults do.  That is how young children learn.  This is why we try not to do or say things in front of children we do not want them to repeat.  This same concept of learning through imitation applies to healthy eating and physical activity patterns.

The types of foods you choose, teach children “normal” food choices.  Making healthy choices yourself and providing healthy food options at home, teaches them to make healthy food choices on their own.  Also, when adults engage in regular physical activity, it teaches children that physical activity is a normal part of one’s day.

Tips for role modeling healthy habits with children:

  • Eat a variety of whole grains, fruits and vegetables
  • Eat meals with your children whenever possible and turn off the television
  • Drink water or milk at meals instead of soda or sugary drinks
  • Try new foods, your children are more likely to experiment with different foods if you do, if they do not like it, it’s ok, it’s important that they are willing to try it
  • Engage in activity with your children - go for a walk or bike ride, or go to a nearby park – set aside a specific time most days a week as “activity time”
  • Remember - Actions speak louder than words!

Other ways to promote healthy eating for children:

  • Talk about feeling hungry and full with children – will teach them to stop eating when full
  •  Allow children to take part in the decision of what they want to eat - give healthy options
  • If a child wants, make sweets an option (Let child pick one or two days a week when they are allowed to have something sweet)
  • Take children to a local farmers market to teach them about fruits and vegetables
  • Let children help when preparing foods, they are more likely to try foods when they had a part in making the food

Keep nutritious snacks available:

  •  Yogurt with low-fat granola, cereal or fruit
  • Celery or sliced apples with peanut butter
  • Whole wheat crackers with slice of low-fat cheese (3g of fat or less/serving)
  • Carrot sticks with low-fat dip
  • Fruit with low-calorie yogurt dip
  • ½ c. of low-fat frozen yogurt topped with fresh fruit

Suggestions of Age Appropriate Meal Preparations

 2-Year Olds   • Wipe Tables
  • Carry Small Ingredents
  • Wash Fruits & Vegetables
  • Tear Lettuce
 3-Year Olds   • Mix or Shake Ingredients
  • Spread Condiments
  • Fold Napkins
 4-Year Olds   • Set Table
  • Cut Vegetables with Dull Scissors
  • Peel Fruit
 5-Year Olds   • Measure Ingredients
  • Use an Egg Beater
  • Cut with Blunt Knife
  Source: Brown, JW et al. Nutrition Through the Lifecycle.













Portion Sizes

Food Adult Serving Sizes Pre-Schoolers Serving Size
Meat 3 oz 1-2 oz.
Pasta, Rice 1/2 cup 1/3 cup
Fruit 1 medium fruit, or 1/2 cup 1/4 cup
Vegetables       1/2 cup cooked, 1 cup raw 1/4 cup
Milk, Dairy 8 oz. milk or yogurt,
2 oz.of cheese,
1/2 cup of ice cream
1/2 cup milk or yogurt,
1 1/2 oz. of cheese


Click here to see some healthy, delicious recipes for families.

Remember to reach out to families as partners and recognize their key role in children’s healthy behaviors.  Please be sure to visit the “Go Families!” section of this website to access educational and fun family newsletters and more!