Healthy Habits for Kids and Teens

Good healthy habits are especially important for growing bodies and developing brains. Find out how to get the best results in sports and in school with these tips from Giant Eagle®.
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Your body needs the proper fuel to operate effectively throughout the day.
  • Start the day with breakfast – Just like a high-performance car, your body needs the proper fuel to operate effectively throughout the day; if you don't have the time or appetite to eat before you leave home, carry a whole grain snack bar, a piece of fruit and individual servings of milk or 100% juice – or make and take a yogurt smoothie. 
  • Personalize your food choices for optimal performance – Your calorie needs are unique to you, depending on your age, weight and activity level; check out calorie goals and portions at www.ChooseMyPlate.gov
  • Choose smart snacks – Stay active and alert with foods that contain protein, vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, healthy fats and fiber; fruit, lower fat milk and yogurt, string cheese, peanut butter crackers and nuts, sunflower seeds, sunflower seed or soy butter (tastes like peanut butter), pretzels, raw veggies with salsa and snack bars are all healthy grab-and-go options. 
  • Get moving and keep moving – Exercise and activity are important at all ages –aim for at least one hour of moving and grooving every day; be sure to follow safe exercise guidelines with warm-ups, cool downs and plenty of water.
  • Don’t skip meals – Your body won’t have the energy it needs for thinking and quick action, and you are more likely to make bad food choices later in the day.
  • Get involved in cooking and shopping—Learn to make healthy foods you like and share them with family and friends.
  • Learn to read food labels—Interested in finding a snack with the most protein or the least fat? Read the Nutrition Facts on the label. Have a food allergy? Check ingredient lists and allergy information.
  • Eat, don’t graze — Your weight, health and performance levels are at risk when you grab fast food or chips from a vending machine; plan ahead by keeping healthy snacks like fruit, granola and energy bars on-hand.
  • Choose your drink for health—Water is the best choice to quench your thirst, but low fat milk, soy beverages, smoothies and 100% juice are okay, too. Sports drinks replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates lost during vigorous activity; low-fat chocolate milk is a post-workout drink chosen by many athletes for muscle recovery.
  • Aim for healthy variety—The MyPlate eating plan recommends you divide your plate into sections: half should be fruits and veggies, one quarter as lean protein (including nuts, seeds, chicken, fish, beans or meat) and the remaining quarter as grains — preferable whole grains, accompanied by a serving of low-fat dairy such as skim milk or nonfat yogurt.

Brought to you by the registered dietitians at Giant Eagle and Market District®

Important Physician Advice Disclaimer: The content provided by Giant Eagle®, including but not limited to, website, recipe and health information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician for professional guidance before changing or undertaking a new diet program. Advance consultation with your physician is particularly important if you are under the age of 18, pregnant, nursing or have health problems.