Proper nourishment helps our bodies and minds develop to the fullest potential. When we eat healthy, we can feel our best and thrive at any age. Explore these ideas to help encourage kids to enjoy a life of healthy eating.
Having trouble getting kids to eat their veggies? Try these fun, healthy and kid-approved recipes compiled by the Y of the USA.
Healthy snack recipes
When you need a quick and nutritious burst of energy, whip up a batch of fruit leather or energy bites.
Nutritious and delicious recipes
Whether you’re looking for a fun no-bake snack to make together, or timesaving dinnertime recipes, the Y has your family covered.
Family meals are important
Sharing at least three family meals a week can foster better nutrition, greater academic success and good mental health in your children.
Smart nutrition for academic success
Nutrition is the most important school supply your child needs for a successful academic year.
School lunches to fuel the day
Whether eating a school lunch or a lunch from home, nourishment is important for kids to stay focused and energized throughout the school day.
Building a healthy snack
Check out these guides for ways to put together a healthy, fun and budget-friendly option between meals.
Produce is less expensive (and yummier) when it’s in season
Before going grocery shopping
- Plan your meals for the week and when you will use leftovers for meals.
- Correlate fruits and vegetables for the meals you have planned for that week. Make the most out of the produce you buy.
- Look for coupons, sales and specials for items you were already planning on buying.
- Sign up for free store discount cards.
- Make a shopping list based on the meals you plan on making for that week.
- If leftovers are not popular at your house, buy only the amount your family will eat for that week to reduce food waste.
- Make a food budget and stick to it.
- Plan to be versatile with the foods you buy. For example, fruit can be used in salads, desserts, sides or as a snack.
During grocery shopping
- Do not shop when you are hungry, this will help you stick to your planned shopping list. Eat a healthy snack before you go if you are hungry.
- Try store-brand items, they cost less.
- Compare items for the best deal, pay attention to the amount in the package and cost. Look for cost of item per ounce.
- Sometimes items in “bulk or family packs” cost less.
- Check expiration and sell by dates. Buy the freshest food possible so it will last longer.
- Look for bargains, such as day-old bread.
- Buy regular brown rice, oatmeal or grits instead of the instant versions. This will save money, sugar and calories.
- Buy whole fruits and vegetables not the pre-cut fruit and vegetables (including pre-packaged salad mixes). Plan to cut your produce at home and save.
- Buy frozen fruit or fruit canned in its own fruit juice or water.
- Buy low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese in the largest size that can be used before it will spoil. Large containers cost less than smaller individual packages.
- Look for milk that has been “ultra-pasteurized.” It has a longer expiration date and will not spoil as fast.
- Dried beans and peas last a long time without spoiling and are a great source of fiber and protein.
- Eggs, tofu and tuna or other fish packed in water are inexpensive and lean protein.
- If you are trying something new, buy a small amount just in case you do not like it.
- Shop at larger grocery stores instead of small convenience stores.
After going grocery shopping
- Store food right away.
- Freeze food to prevent spoiling. Make sure to label and date the item.
- If you have extra fresh vegetables, cut them up and place in a sealable plastic bag and store in the freezer for later.
- Divide food intro individual portions to help portion control and decrease waste.
- Use foods with the earliest expiration dates first.
- When preparing a meal, double or triple the recipe. Store in containers for one to two meals and freeze.
- Be creative with extra produce. With leftover fruit, make smoothies. With leftover vegetables make salsa!