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Balance calories, a key message in new food guidelines- what it means to your family

Posted on Feb 02, 2011 by Maggie LaBarbera

Let's take a look at the first message that the USDA wants us to focus on:

Key Message #1  Balancing Calories

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less
  • Avoid oversized portions

Calorie balance is the key to preventing weight gain.  Weight gain comes from eating more than the body burns off.  So either you increase your calories out (more exercise) or you take in less foods (calories in).

How this message is important to your child:

This new message is designed to help fight childhood obesity and most importantly prevent it.  By helping our children learn proper portion size, we can help them develop a key strategy to maintaining a healthy weight for their lifetime.

Knowing what your child needs is important because kids are still growing and they need the necessary vitamins and minerals from a healthy balanced meal so they can grow and develop a healthy body.

1.  First start by learning how much food does your child really need:  Use this simple food tool

  • Just enter your child's age, gender and activity level
2.  print our meal plan summary sheet for your child's weight
  • (you will see that on the top bar of the meal planner tool - <Summary Meal Sheet> in yellow)
Strategies to help you reduce portion sizes.

You might be surprised that calories can add up quickly.

Healthy Servings For Kids Foods Serving Size vs Food Portion Size – What’s The difference?

Top Portion Control Tips

Serving Size Samples

How to get started:

Set a goal.  Just pick one or two things you are going to work on with your child

Track the goal So it is fun

Setting goals with your child and keeping them motivated

Fun Kids Tracking and Goals Sheets

Be positive and celebrate the small steps that will add up to a healthier child with healthy habits!





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