Do you have a picky eater, or a child who prefers sugary, high-fat junk food, to the point where she’s ignoring her body’s need for real nutrients? It’s not uncommon for parents to struggle to get their children to eat better. One of the best ways to help your child eat healthy is to teach them Traffic Light Eating. Just like when we are driving a car, a traffic light tells us what to do:
- Green means “go”
- Yellow tells us to “slow down”
- Red means “stop” and think
Green light foods are “grow” foods. You want to help your child learn to eat as much as they want of these foods, which include all fruits and vegetables. Green light foods are: grown and not manufactured, low in calories, high in nutrients, colorful, and usually can be eaten raw.
Yellow light foods are “slow down” foods. These foods are okay to eat everyday, in moderation. Yellow light foods include: pasta, rice, bread, tortillas, noodles, lean meat, low fat yogurt, nuts and seeds, olive oil, soy foods, whole grains, fish, low fat cheese, and vegetable oil.
Red light foods are “stop” and think foods. When we come across a red light food, we should make a different choice or eat a smaller portion. Red light foods are low in nutrients; high in calories, fat or sugar; or contain artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, or tans-fats. They include: butter, cookies, candy, frozen yogurt, fatty meats, pastries, chips, and white bread.