Healthy meals for your family: Tips from a registered dietitian

By Mary Sowa, registered dietitian at CHOC Children’s

Looking for help to plan healthy meals for your family? Choose My Plate, a program of the USDA, is a great place for recipe ideas and tips for meeting your nutritional goals.

Start Simple with MyPlate:

This page offers tips on how to incorporate each food group into your diet. You can also find information on the foods that should be limited in our diets, including salt, saturated fats and added sugars.

More tips include ideas for preparing meals ahead of time, snack ideas for kids, and how to incorporate different foods to help meet vegetable goals.

MyPlate Plan:

On this portion of the website, you can enter gender, weight, height and activity level, for a calculation on your specific energy needs. Once you have that information you can select the calorie level, along with the servings and suggestions for each food group to meet those calorie requirements. You can also enter information on behalf of your child, to see their specific calorie needs. See an example MyPlate Plan.

Action Guide:

Action guides are specific to adults, parents/caregivers, kids/teens, and teachers/health educators. These guides offer tips for enjoying local foods, growing your own food, tips for picky eaters, activity sheets for kids, recipe ideas and more.

Healthy eating on a budget

This section will help you create a grocery store game plan and stick to your budget and help you prepare healthy meals. The kitchen timesavers tip sheets offer advice for organizing your kitchen, clearing the clutter, chopping extra, doubling your recipe and more tips to help you maximize your time in the kitchen.

These are just four features of Choose MyPlate to explore. This resource offers endless tips, plans and recipes to help improve or maintain healthy eating habits.

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Kids Health, delivered monthly, offers “healthful” information for parents.

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