Feeding 'Tweens and Teens

Did you know that older children grow one to two feet and double their weight between the ages of six and 12 years? That is why good nutrition is so important to fuel their growth and also to teach them lifelong habits.

Make time for breakfast, even if it means waking your child 15 minutes earlier. Breakfast is an ideal time for your child to get important nutrients like calcium (in Milk Products), fibre (in whole grain breads and cereals), and iron (in fortified breakfast cereals).

Send your child to school with a well-balanced lunch - a sandwich, raw vegetables, a piece of fruit - or encourage eating the lunch that is served at school. If you pack a lunch, occasionally include a small treat, like a bag of chips, a couple of cookies, or a carton of pudding.

Remember that your child needs at least two daily servings of foods from the Milk Products group, and at least three servings between the ages of 10 and 16. Two out of three kids don't get their recommended calcium levels. Some creative ideas - prepare hot cocoa with milk, melt cheese on a bagel, make a yogurt parfait layered with fruit, offer a milkshake.

Add vegetables to favourite quick meals. Top pizza with broccoli or mushrooms, stir mixed vegetables into pasta sauce, or toss chopped tomatoes into macaroni and cheese.

When you cook, make extra servings to freeze in sealable plastic containers. These individual portions are quick to heat up for kids who get home late from after-school sports or activities.

Encourage physical activities that your children enjoy. Activity helps kids stay fit and burn off their boundless energy! As children go through their teen years, a combination of portion control and regular physical activity will help them stay at a healthy weight.

Help your child develop a healthy, realistic body image that is not too thin or too muscular. Encourage sensible, balanced eating and activity.

Visit our Kids Centre for recipes your kids can make themselves.