Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kid's Nutrition Chart Printable


I'm lucky enough to have a son who likes to eat healthy foods. The only problem is that he can be a bit picky and doesn't always get the variety that he needs. So I came up with this little system to help both of us keep track of his eating habits!

I went here to find out how many servings of each food group my son needs at his age. This site had a guide for serving sizes.

I made up a list of various foods that he likes to eat and did an image search for them on Google. I edited the photos in Picnik using the Polaroid frame which made them all the same shape and gave me space underneath the photo. Then I added a sticker in the shape to coordinate with the food group that it fits in and wrote the description and serving size.

After editing the photos, I saved them and then copied them over to a Word document with spaces in between and a frame around each one for a cutting guide. Then I printed them out on cardstock.

After that, I cut out each photo and laminated them. I have a Scotch Laminator that I picked up at Sam's Club for about $20. They also have them at Target for around the same price. If you have young children, a laminator is a really handy thing to have. I used it on this project to increase durability and make the chart dry erase.

You could also use clear contact paper. Or you can just print out a new chart for each day and use a regular pen or pencil.

Once they were all cut out, I threw on some self-stick magnets.

Every time he eats something, he moves that picture to above the chart and checks of the box in that food group with a dry erase marker. By moving the photo above the chart, he knows that he has already eaten that kind of food today and should pick something different.


I am loving this new system for a number of reasons:
  • I don't have to try and remember what food groups he still needs to eat from that day.
  • When we are out of a certain food, I can just remove that magnet.
  • Since each food has a shape associated with it he can see for himself what kind of foods he can eat instead of constantly asking for something he can't have.
  • When he asks my husband to make him something to eat, Shelby can look at the chart and see if it is okay instead of having to ask me if Jer has already had some.
Of course, I am not a nutritionist so I can't guarantee that the accuracy of the serving sizes and all of that but it is at least a good guideline. I don't want him to over eat so I'm not really worried about him eating the entire portion size. I'm more concerned about getting him to eat a larger variety of foods so we try to make sure that at least one box is checked off in each category.

Oh, and the serving sizes for both dairy and protein were twice the size of what he would normally eat. So instead of having two servings of dairy at 1 cup each, I listed four servings at 1/2 cup each.

Alright, I don't think I have any more disclaimers to add. If you would like to print out my version you can download it as a Word Doc or PDF File. Or you can print out the photos below. You can also make your own using the foods that your child likes and the portions appropriate for their age and gender.




23 comments:

Kyra @ RACKS and Mooby said...

What a fabulous idea!! Love it! This is one of the times I wish we didn't have a (non-magnetic) stainless steel fridge!

Amy @ Increasingly Domestic said...

Wow! This is amazing! I am so terrible about making sure that each day is well rounded nutritionally.

SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

Very practical project. Thanks for sharing :)

Andi @ Jane of all crafts said...

THANK YOU!! This is so great! This takes a lot of guess work out of what my girls' have or haven't had during the day. And it will give my oldest some control over her choices, which is huge for a 5 year old :-)

theb5 said...

This is WONDERFUL!!!! I am going to try this for my children. I have one GREAT eater, one SO-So eater, and one PICKY eater!!!! Thank you!

Jenn @livegreenlovemuch said...

Wow! Wonderful information, thanks so much for taking the time to put it all together for us!

Aubree said...

I really love this idea! What a wonderful way to educate your child on how to eat well!

Liz said...

This is amazing! What a great idea!

Mel said...

I love this idea; it's so hard to remember what all they should be getting. Love that kids can learn from it too, from an early age.

Amanda said...

I love this!!! I will definitely be using this with my daughter when she gets older!

Kimra said...

BEST idea EVER!

Counting Coconuts said...

Fantastic idea and just the inspiration I was looking for when something like this occurred to me the other day. Thank you!! I've shared your link in this post on my blog: http://countingcoconuts.blogspot.com/2011/07/daily-food-chart.html

Best,
Mari-Ann

Robin said...

This looks fab for my extremely picky granddaughter who currently will only eat a Sonic Grilled Cheese for lunch when I watch her. Maybe this will get her to eat a few other foods for me. And come to think of it... I'm going to be revamping my parent's diet {w/ their blessing} for health reasons... the visuals could be great for them as well! Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing :D Salud!

My Life, My Child and My Food said...

Thanks for sharing...

Anonymous said...

Love the idea. However, I can't get the download zip file to open up. Could you do a PDF, please?

Thanks.
Kat

Anonymous said...

Thank You!

Kat

Sonja said...

This is amazing! Thank you soo much! I found this VIA Pinterest. :) My son is picky-ish and sometimes has a hard time.

laurie said...

Love the idea, have a special needs child that want to do this with, but can't download files.

Megan @ PolishTheStars.com said...

Sorry about that. The link expired. I updated the account though so the download should work again. If you still have trouble with it send me your email address and I can just email you the files.

A Learning Journey said...

I would love a copy of your PDF printables for this activity. It looks GREAT! I am having a problem with 4Shared documents - is there any way you can e-mail the documents to me. Thank you so much for sharing these files! I can be reaches at tlm swt 2000 (at) msn (dot) com. Please remove spaces and add symbols for parentheses. Thanks a bunch for your help!
Tracey @ A Learning Journey

Candace Gowan said...

I am in love with this idea! I would like to incorporate this into my Healthy Habits unit next week at school. However, I am having difficulty downloading the file. If possible, could you please email it to me at candace.gowan@gmail.com?

Thanks so much!

Allison said...

I think you have a great idea here. I know it would help me in thinking of and suggesting additional options for my daughter and she would love looking at and making her choices. Unfortunately, to get to either the .doc or the .pdf you are sharing, I must log in with a social media account or sign up with your file sharing service. For personal reasons I hesitate to link my social media accounts to anything and I do not want an additional account (directly from your file sharing service). Don't we all have a *million* accounts already? :) - I will take your idea, though, and make something similar for our house. Maybe we will search through magazines and find pictures of food to cut and glue. Thank you again for sharing the idea. If it ever becomes easier to get to a document....I'll be back.