How Much Should Kids Eat During the Day, and Other Mealtime Questions
- Whole fruits and vegetables.
- Minimally processed whole grains.
- Grass-fed meats, eggs, and cold-water fish.
- Healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut and olive oils, and ghee.
- Look at your food budget and buy the best quality you can afford.
- Buy in bulk for shelf-stable items like dried beans, legumes, and cold-water canned or frozen fish. This will save you time shopping and bring down the cost per serving.
- Look for fruits and vegetables grown locally and in season for the best price and highest nutrient value.
- If you eat meat, make it a side dish, not the main course. Meats cost more, and a little goes a long way for protein and amino acid needs. Think stir-fry loaded with vegetables and a small amount of animal protein mixed in.
- Consider replacing 2–3 meat-based dishes per week with more cost-effective plant-based proteins like beans and legumes.
- Drink water and eat fresh fruit and vegetables for snacks. Avoid spending limited dollars on processed snack foods or soda.
- Treats are fine on occasion and making them at home allows you to control the ingredients that go into them. They can also be a fun cooking experience with your child.
Food is medicine. Small adjustments to improve your family’s diet now could dramatically reduce reliance on costly health care needs in the future. Prioritize health, and you’ll never regret it.
- Some local schools have meal pick-ups for school-age children in need.
- Essential child care facilities are serving meals to enrolled children.
- Try local food pantries or food banks. Many food banks have gardens and offer fresh produce boxes in addition to shelf-stable items.
- Meals on Wheels supports feeding seniors in the household.
- Some local churches have been helping their communities with prepared meals and food pantries.