Eating healthy is essential for kids’ growth and physical development. The right nutrients help to gain more energy, improve mental performance, and boost the immune system. Just saying “avoid junk food” is not enough to convince kids to make healthy choices. These tips for healthy eating will get you and your child on the right path.

Make Breakfast Count

Everyone’s heard it before, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but does your child know why? Breakfast starts their metabolism for the day. Choosing protein, fiber, or whole grains for your kid’s breakfast every morning will give them more energy and boost their brainpower. Oatmeal, Greek yogurt, or whole-grain toast can all be topped with fruit and are tasty choices for the first meal of the day. Fruits are packed with nutrients and can boost your immune system, which means less days spent sick.

Include Greens

Vegetables provide potassium, fiber, and vitamins in our daily diet. Eating spinach, broccoli, or asparagus will benefit kids by improving their memory and boosting their mood. Add greens to your child’s plate every meal, or, since little one sometimes don’t like vegetables, make a smoothie with greens hidden—try including vegetables mixed with fruits they like. The mixture will mask the flavor of the vegetables all while still being a healthy food choice.

Have Healthy Snacks

Every kid loves snacks. However, they only have the option of eating what’s available in their home. Give healthy options for a snack, like a bowl of apples on the counter or carrots in the refrigerator. Healthy snacks can help avoid crankiness and spoiling their dinner. Celery dipped in peanut butter, unbuttered popcorn, or a granola bar is a good substitute for normally sugary snacks.

Drink Water

Our bodies are made up of around 60 percent water. Drinking water gives us more energy and relieves fatigue, setting us up for a productive day. It is important kids have about eight glasses of water a day to maintain their body’s fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients around the body. Being hydrated flushes out all the bad toxins, eliminates headaches, and increases mental performance. Giving kids sugary drinks, like soda, may cause dehydration, tooth decay, and can put them at risk for many health problems.

Make Small Portion Sizes

Having a small portion of food on the plate will prevent from overeating. Kids do not need to eat as much as adults do. Eating small portions of the right food will fill them up way more than a small portion of unhealthy food. Large meals often leave kids tired, but frequent small portions will keep their energy and mood up. Your kid’s body will function more smoothly throughout the day with their metabolism being at steady pace.

Healthy choices will benefit your child’s body mentally and physically. An easy switch of a donut to yogurt for breakfast will start their day off with a productive mindset and a positive mood. Next time your kids crave sugary snacks or desert, think about all the benefits of a healthy alternative.