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Healthy Eating

Healthy eating habits start with your baby’s first foods. Learn more about how to give your child the best start through healthy food choices.

Little girl refusing to eat veggies from dad

Myth: Children hate vegetables.

FACT: Children actually love veggies, fruits, and other healthy foods if they're served regularly. With one in three California children ages 2 to 5 being overweight or obese, it's important to give your child a healthy start to life by making nutritious foods available to them all day long. Plus, healthy food is brain food.

So, what does a healthy plate look like?

Choose my plate - fruit, vegetables, grains, protein, dairy

Divide your plate into three sections. Fill half of the plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter of it with lean protein and the last quarter with whole-grain carbohydrates. Keep meat portions small, about the size of the back of your child's fist.

Try these healthy options for hungry kids:


  • Cooked spinach

  • Baked cubes of sweet potatoes

  • Steamed red and green pepper strips

  • Roasted carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower


  • Unsweetened applesauce

  • Freshly washed blueberries

  • Canned peaches or pears in water (Avoid fruit packed in juice or syrup)


  • Extra-lean and lean ground beef, turkey, chicken

  • Mashed chickpeas and hummus

  • Black, pinto, and kidney beans

  • Scrambled eggs

  • Peanut butter, almond butter, mixed nuts (Check with your doctor about possible food allergies before introducing these.)


  • Whole-wheat pasta tortillas

  • Multigrain breads, whole-wheat crackers

  • Cooked oatmeal

  • Barely and brown rice


  • Reduced-fat (2%) and low-fat (1%) milk (From age 1 to 2, offer your child whole milk. After that, switch to reduced-fat milk)

  • Calcium-fortified soy milk Reduced-fat yogurt

Healthy body, healthy brain! Get the facts with this informative guide.

First 5 California
Contributed by:
First 5 California
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