Saturday, October 23, 2010

Teaching Kids the Traffic Light System

Our whole family needs to be healthier.  I took our oldest to a doctor's appointment this week and our doctor gave us an amazing handout about food.  It's so fun for kids.  It's called traffic light style eating and here's how it works.  The traffic light system encourages healthy eating by guiding you to choose foods that are high in fiber, high in nutrients, low in sugar, good sources of healthy oils and foods that are low in saturated fats.  

GREEN LIGHT FOODS can be eaten daily or often.  They are high in fiber and low in sugar and saturated fats.  Some examples are: whole grain bread, brown rice, oatmeal, corn tortillas, Cheerios, Wheat Chex, Shredded Wheat, Raisin Bran, Fresh Fruits and veggies, fat free milk, low fat string cheese, beans, tofu, tuna canned in water, water, etc.  

YELLOW LIGHT FOODS can be eaten weekly or sometimes.  They are often made with refined grains, have a small amount of added sugar, and contain moderate amounts of fat.  Some examples are:  white bread, white rice, pancakes, animal crackers, muffins, graham crackers, dried fruit, olives, avocado, mashed potatoes, 2% milk, low fat ice cream, light cream cheese, hamburger, peanut butter, sports bars, jam, popsicles, granola bars, 100% juice, etc.

RED LIGHT FOODS  can be eaten monthly or rarely.  They are generally processed, contain high amounts of sugar and fat, and have very little if any fiber.  Some examples are:  donuts, croissants, cheese crackers, corn chips, top ramen, macaroni and cheese, fettuccini alfredo, sugar cereals, creamed soups, french fries, tator tots, potato chips, whole milk, chocolate milk, whipped cream, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, mayonaise, butter, salad dressing, candy, soda, lemonade, punch, etc.

Our family was eating so many red light foods it was disgusting.  I had my kids look over the lists and then we went grocery shopping.  It was really fun.  We have a long way to go to get FULLY healthy but by choosing more green light foods we will be on the right track!  Stay tuned to see how our entire family is doing!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a really fun way to teach younger kids. They need to have this on a talk show. Love it!