Nutrition Coaching Tips for Healthy Kids & Families

As a nutrition coach for more than twenty-five years, I’m not convinced there is much motivation for our society as a whole, to make the necessary lifestyle changes needed to combat the obesity epidemic. I have many friends who seem to continue down the path of easy living until it’s either too late or until they are scared into making changes because of a loved one’s death or their own near miss. Unfortunately, this common scenario overlaps with kids and the rest of the family.

Let’s change that perspective with a few tips from a professional nutrition coach at so we can start to build healthy kids and families.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 31% of children are overweight or at risk of becoming so.

As a parent of 3, I can attest to the fact that my children’s needs come first. As a former teacher in the public education system, I can vouch for the number of parents who hound the school administration if there is anything they feel amiss with their child’s classroom or activity provisions.

So, why are so many parents failing to model a healthy lifestyle for their kids?

It is our responsibility as parents to start developing strong nutrition habits for our children in all aspects of life. Nutrition is no different. We need to start building a solid foundation of habits that lead to higher levels of performance and health.

Below, I’ve put together ten simple nutrition tips that you can use immediately to get your kids eating healthier.

Breakfast: A good breakfast could include Egg Toast, meat, oatmeal, fruit, juice (100 percent variety), and some water.  Note that a good breakfast does not include Pop-Tarts, cereal, Toaster Strudels, donuts, muffins, or any other processed garbage. This tip is number one for a reason. We need to teach our children to eat a healthy breakfast, so they do not become like one of the many adults who struggle with this important start to the day.

More water, less sugar: We need to get children used to drinking water as the main beverage. Read the labels of Gatorade or Powerade. Do you think it’s a good idea to have them downing that much sugar? The same goes for soda.

Fewer drive-thru trips: This goes for all drive-thru chains. If you can get it at a drive-thru, you probably don’t want it in your body or your child’s body. If you’re in a pinch for time, go to a sub shop and order something that looks like grilled chicken or a steak wrap accompanied by some water. Be wary of the extras like highly processed chips.

Fruits and vegetables: Try to find a couple of each that your kid likes and start putting them in lunches and dinners immediately. Don’t send a granola bar to school with them. Send a baggie of fresh berries or a banana.

Home-cooked meals: These should make up the majority of your child’s diet. This is where they will get the most nutrients that will fuel their active lives.

Real meals before games and tests: The old carb-loading feasts that often accompany team dinners are a waste of time. Overloading starchy pasta that isn’t good for you in the first place is a bad idea. The kids will have better results from a normal, balanced, healthy meal.

Snacking: A quick stop at the locker for a healthy snack is a must to ward off overeating later in the day. A nutritious snack is also one of the best ways to keep kids alert and focused on their classroom work.

Candy bars: Candy bars are filled with highly processed junk. If kids like them, try to trade them for Cliff Bars. These things are delicious and are made from mostly organic ingredients. They are a much better snack.

Meal portions: Kids are at an important age where portion control is crucial. They shouldn’t be eating until they can’t move. This only cements habits of overeating in the future and keeps our obesity problem in American growing. Teach them to eat until they are satisfied, not stuffed.

Food Control: Just because I’ve given you these tips doesn’t mean that you need to restrict everything your kids eat and make their diets strict. Use these tips as guidelines and remember that your kids are still kids. What is going overboard? The drive-thru more than once every ten days is no good but neither is counting calories or grams of protein consumed. Find a happy medium and start building strong nutrition habits.

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