Healthy Eating for Kids

Aetna InteliHealthSM, with content partner Harvard Medical School, provides you with top-quality health information and breaking medical news. The InteliHealth website is recognized as a leading authority on health and wellness.

Healthy eating, healthy kids

Think of your child's favorite food. Now ask yourself: Does this food contribute positively to your child's health or weight? While any food can fit into a healthy lifestyle, not all foods contribute positively to health.

Today's fast-paced society leaves little time for preparing meals and snacks. Busy parents are buying more processed and convenience foods that are high in calories, low in nutrients and easy for children to prepare (or open). Thirty percent of meals are eaten outside the home, and they frequently consist of fast foods made with bad fats and few vegetables.

Restrictive diets seem like an obvious solution, but they are likely to fail, and they encourage unhealthy, lifelong eating habits. A better solution for all is to combine healthy eating and physical activity. Follow these guidelines to improve your diet:

  • Choose the right fat — fat is one of the most misunderstood nutrients.
  • Choosing the right fat is crucial — think healthy fat (not low fat) for growing kids.
  • Eat regular meals and snacks
  • Eat more vegetables
  • Eat more fiber
  • Choose fewer processed foods and beverages loaded with sugar

Following is a quick guide to help you improve your family's eating behaviors with the goal lifelong health and decreased risks of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. To improve eating behaviors, start by improving the environment.

Read more about healthy eating for kids

1996-2014. Aetna Inc. All rights reserved. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before starting a new fitness regimen. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions. External website links provided on this site are meant for convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement. These external links open in a different window. The Aetna InteliHealth website subscribes to the HONcode principles of the Health On the Net Foundation. "InteliHealth" and "The Trusted Source" are trademarks of Aetna Inc.


JavaScript is required

In order to have the best experience on, Javascript needs to be enabled.
Learn how to change your browser settings to enable Javascript.

You are now leaving the Aetna website

Links to various non-Aetna sites are provided for your convenience only. Aetna Inc. and its subsidiary companies are not responsible or liable for the content, accuracy, or privacy practices of linked sites, or for products or services described on these sites.

Continue >