Nutrition Tips

Read these 27 Nutrition Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Parent tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I make peanut butter sandwiches healthier?

Healthier PB & J

Peanut butter and jelly or PB&J are a great food for kids. Problem is peanut butter and jelly are loaded with sugar. Although peanut butter is a great way of getting protein, many parents are trying to curb the sugar content in their children’s' diets.

So how does a parent improve the nutritious value of a PB&J? By following three simple steps.

First, look into natural peanut butter made with only peanuts (some will have salt). Some of the brands out there will also include Omega-3 Fatty Acids (the fatty acid that is heart healthy). These are usually located along with the standard peanut butter.

Second, have the child choose a favorite fruit such as apples, cherries, blueberries, bananas, mangos, kiwi, or strawberries. Use this in lieu of jelly or jam. Not only does the child get no processed sugar, but also gets a bit more fiber than they would if jelly or jam was used.

Third, visit the bread aisle and find bread with a fiber content of 3 grams or more. If the child has a whole sandwich, along with the fruit, the meal could include as much as ten grams of fiber per sandwich.

How can I make sure my child is getting enough calcium?

Calcium Sources

If your child is not a milk drinker, and you are concerned about her meeting her calcium needs, there are many other food choices to help her get adequate amounts of calcium. Try serving yogurt, cheese, calcium-fortified soy milk, broccoli, tofu, dark, leafy greens, and calcium-fortified orange juice.

How can I encourage my kids to eat breakfast?

Pancake Patterns

For a fun twist on an old favorite, the next time you make pancakes put the batter in a plastic ketchup bottle. Cut the tip off to make a larger opening and let the kids use the squeeze bottle to write their names or create shapes. It adds a little fun to breakfast!

How can I encourage kids to eat vegetables and fruits?

5 Veggies a Day

The Food and Drug Administration tells parents to get kids to eat 5 veggies a day.

Sometimes, vegetables are the hardest thing to get kids to eat, but there is hope.

Understand, kids' tastebuds are far more sensitive than ours. What's slightly bitter to us is horribly bitter to kids. No wonder they avoid vegetables. They aren't sweet or salty.

To help them get used to these foods, it can take up to 10 exposures before they can tolerate the taste. So, start small. Give them or tell them to take one bite at first. If they like it, give them more. If they cringe, don't quit, try again later, but have them take at least ONE bite.

Pick a few vegetables each week and keep introducing them. Don't worry if your child likes broccoli and not carrots. Build on what they like and work on what they don't.

Keep starchy veggies to a minimum (corn, potatoes, yams, beans), but they are full of fiber so having them as part of a healthy diet is great.

Of course, if you don't eat any veggies, they won't either. The best example is to set a good one.

How can I make sure my child is eating enough iron?

Getting Enough Iron

Parents of vegetarian children or kids who do not consume much red meat often worry about their kids getting enough iron in their diets. However, kids can easily meet their mineral needs by eating fortified cereals and breads, dried fruits such as raisins, spinach, molasses, beans, lentils, and eggs.

How do I increase my child´s iron intake?

Iron Rich Foods

It is not easy for a child to obtain the recommended daily amount of iron. Since iron is found in varying quantities in many foods, it is important for your child to eat a variety of foods every day. Some important sources of iron include: meat, legumes, breakfast cereals, whole grain bread, dark green vegetables, and pastas.

How can I get my kids to drink more water?

Up the Water Intake

To make drinking water more fun for kids, try adding a few drops of food coloring in their cups. You can make the water their favorite color, or experiment to find out what happens when you mix colors. This turns plain old water into a far more exciting drink.

How can I improve my child´s vocabulary and social skills?

More than Just Nourishment

Make an effort to eat dinner together as a family. Research shows that children's literacy rates are higher in families that eat together. A relaxed suppertime is not only fun, but the conversation can help your child build his vocabulary and social skills.

Why do small kids take so long eating?

Meal Time

It is normal for small children to take their time eating. They are exploring food. Let them take their time so they can enjoy eating and develop good eating habits.

How can I encourage healthy eating in my kids?

Eating Right

Start kids out eating right early on. Try to stay away from fast food and maybe make fun meals using healthy food.

How can I encourage healthy eating in my kids?

Be a Healthy Model!

You are what you eat, and your children watch very closely what you eat as well. Don't expect your kids to eat brocolli if you are eating potato chips. Try to sit down together and enjoy healthy foods together.

How much juice should my child drink?


It is very important to limit the amount of juice your child drinks in a day. Juice is very high in sugar, can harm teeth and decrease appetite for other healthy food choices throughout the day. Toddlers should be limited to 4 to 6 ounces a day, and older children should not drink more than 12 ounces. Juice should be considered more of a treat than a thirst quencher. Be sure to offer your child plenty of water.

Does my child have to eat vegetables?

Fruits Are Fine

If your child does not eat vegetables despite your greatest efforts, he can still meet all his nutritional needs by eating fruit. For example, apricots supply as much Vitamin A as carrots, and strawberries meet folic acid needs as well as spinach does. However, do continue offering vegetables, as one day his taste will mature enough to accept them.

How can I have healthier mealtimes?

Distracted Mealtimes

If your children are watching TV while eating their meals, turn it off. Distracted children tend not to listen to their appetite cues. Younger children may forget about eating, while older children can be prone to overeating.

What is a healthy alternative to ice cream?

Healthy Cool Treat

As an alternative to ice cream or sugar-filled popsicles, try offering frozen bananas on a stick. You can buy them in most supermarkets ready-made, or you can also purchase kits to make your own.

What is a healthy snack kids will eat?

Healthy Brownies!?

To make a healthy version of this kids favorite, prepare a box of brownies according to the package directions. Then, stir in one box of frozen chopped spinach (thawed, squeezed dry, and finely chopped) and 1 jar butternut squash baby food. Bake according to package directions, and surprise your kids with this healthy treat!

How much water should my child drink each day?

Getting Enough Water

Since the human body is approximately two-thirds water, it is very important for kids (and adults) to replace what is used in a day. Young kids who don't drink enough water may suffer from fatigue or constipation. To combat dehydration, have your child drink 8 ounces of water for every 250 calories consumed. If your child takes in 1500 calories a day, that means at least 6 cups.

How come my baby stopped eating?

Loss in Appetite

If your older infant suddenly experiences a loss of appetite, more than likely, she is simply experiencing a growth slow down, and does not need to eat any more than she is. Babies have built in appetite controls, and do a far better job at regulating their diet than most adults do. To ensure that she is getting adequate nutrition when she does eat, be sure to offer a variety of foods, and try to sneak in fruits and vegetables without her realizing. She may enjoy pumpkin muffins, carrot cake, sweet potatoes, a noodle casserole, or yogurt. You may also want to check for teething, as this would also explain a lack of appetite. If her appetite doesn't return after a few days, consult your doctor.

How do I limit the sugar my child eats?

Too Much Sugar

A recent study by the USDA found that preschoolers eat an average of 15 tsp. of added sweeteners a day. That is 6 tsp. too much! This can lead to cavities, obesity, and heart disease. It can also cut a child's appetite for healthier foods. To cut down on sugar intake, limit juice intake, and replace sugary treats with fruits or homemade less-sugary treats.

What do I do if my child doesn´t eat meat?

When a Child Won't Eat Meat

If your child suddenly refuses to eat meat, it may be because he finds the meat fibres difficult to chew. To encourage meat eating, offer small, tender pieces or serve meat in pasta or as a meat loaf. Also, remember that it is not essential for your child to eat meat in order to have a healthy diet. Offer plenty of other foods that are high in protein - eggs, cheese, peanut butter, legumes, and dairy products.

How can I encourage kids to eat vegetables and fruits?

Vegetable Tricks

Some simple tricks to get fussy eaters to eat their vegetables:
1) Mix veggies with their favorite foods, such as macaroni and cheese.
2) Cut fresh vegetables into funny shapes and make designs.
3) Puree cooked vegetables and add them to spaghetti sauce.

How can I encourage kids to eat vegetables and fruits?

Sneaky vegetables!

Shredded carrots can be added to pancakes and muffins without much change to the texture or taste, and most kids have no idea just how good they are for them.

How can I encourage my child to try new foods?

Taste Test

To encourage kids to try new foods, try turning tasting foods into a fun game. Blindfold kids and let them taste a variety of foods. Be sure to include some old favorites, and have them try to guess what they are without looking. They may enjoy a new food before they even realize it is new.

How can I prevent my child from overeating and becoming overweight?

Curbing Overeating

Several studies have shown that as kids get older, they tend to eat the portion size that is placed in front of them ignoring internal cues telling them they are full. This is considered one of the reasons why one in five kids in the US is overweight. It is much healthier to offer small portions and allow second servings if your child is still hungry.

How can I get my kids to eat oatmeal porridge?

Porridge Update

If you have trouble getting your kids to eat porridge, try this. Instead of using just water or milk when cooking it, add some hot chocolate or chocolate milk powder to the milk or water. It will seem like a treat for your kids.

How can I encourage healthy eating in my kids?

Stop Breakfast Battles

If your child is constantly asking for sugary cereals, yet you would like a healthier start in the morning, try a compromise. If he eats healthy breakfasts every other day of the morning, you allow a favorite sweet cereal on Sunday mornings. This should lead to complaint-free mornings the rest of the week.

Is it OK for my child to eat white bread?

White Bread

We all know that we should eat bread made from whole wheat flour, but if all your kids will eat is white bread, the only thing they are really missing out on is the fibre. White bread is usually enriched with iron and other essential vitamins. So, let them eat their white bread, but try to up their fibre intake elsewhere, perhaps with an extra serving of fruit.

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Guru Spotlight
Patricia Walters-Fischer