Many experts will agree that it’s never too early to start teaching your kids about nutrition. This is the reason why FIRST 5 Santa Clara County encourages families to make healthy nutritional and physical activity choices. With healthy eating and actively playing together, parents and guardians are in a unique position to provide a healthy environment for children to eat, play, and grow.
No matter our age and size, food fuels our bodies and selecting the right foods—in the right amounts—can help us get a healthy start.
- Fruits and vegetables are healthy in many forms—fresh, canned, frozen, or dried.
- Whole grains are in foods like whole wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal. These have more nutrition and fiber than white bread or white rice.
- Protein and dairy foods help the body grow and repair cells. Look for protein foods with less fat. These include chicken or turkey without the skin, tofu, or lean red meat. Nuts have protein and healthy fats.
- Vegetable oils like corn, peanut, canola, or olive oil are the healthiest choices. Solid fats like butter, shortening, and lard can lead to heart disease. Trans fats also can lead to heart disease.
- Calcium helps children’s bones and teeth grow. It keeps bones strong throughout life. Give your child plenty of foods that are rich in calcium, such as milk products, beans, tofu, broccoli, and dark-green leafy vegetables.
Being active helps both children and adults in lots of ways. It helps you stay healthy and can put you in a better mood. It is a good way for children to spend time with others and learn social skills. Encourage your child to be active from an early age.
- Remember that physical activity does not have to cost a lot of take a lot of time.
- Be active as a family. Look for parks and recreation programs in your area. Going out into your yard to do some gardening is a great opportunity to be active together!
- Offer children lots of opportunities for active play, in fun, short bursts throughout the day.
- Don’t use restricted playtime (for example, limiting outdoor play) as a punishment for children who misbehave
- Minimize television/screen time and sedentary time as much as possible.
FIRST 5 Santa Clara is here to support families and their growth. Check out the resources below to help support that healthy growth and remember to: Eat. Play. Grow.
- Activities with Potter : Download activity sheets and view cooking and fruit and veggie activities.
- Yoga with Potter & Friends: Learn kid-friendly fun and healthy yoga poses and stretches
- Health Screenings: Learn about our vision, oral, hearing, and developmental screenings.
- CalFresh: California’s SNAP/food stamps program; food aid for people with low incomes. 1-877-847-3663
- California WIC (Women, Infants, and Children): Advice and classes on breastfeeding and healthy eating; food coupons for women with low incomes. 1-800-852-5770
- Foodsafety.gov: Information on how to keep and prepare foods safely, as well as recalls. 1-888-723-3366