What Are Red Light, Green Light Foods for Kids?
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June 1, 2020
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red light green light food classification

Let’s say that you have been struggling to lose weight your whole life, and now you have children. You want them to grow up knowing how to eat right so they don’t end up experiencing the same hardships that you have.

How can you talk to your children about how important it is to choose healthy foods and drinks daily? How can you avoid making them feel self-conscious? Well, you can use what’s known as the Red Light, Green Light Foods system for kids.

Wait, what’s the Red Light, Green Light Foods for kids system? How is it designed to help teach and reinforce healthy dietary choices? We’ve got you covered with the info you need below.

What Is the Red Light, Green Light Foods System for Kids? 

The good news is that the Red Light, Green Light Foods system for kids is straightforward and simple. According to Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, red means you should stop and think, yellow means you need to slow down, and green means go.

  • Red foods are those that are high in calories, and they also usually have low nutritional value.
  • Green light foods are low in calories, and they are also high in nutrients.
  • Let’s not forget yellow foods. These fall between red light and green light foods.

Remember, just because a food is labeled as healthy doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. Read labels carefully to see the macronutrient content (that’s the amount of protein, fat, and carbs in a food), as well as the calorie count per serving. For example, a fresh juice might seem like a green food at first, but if it’s high in sugar and calories, it actually isn’t the best choice.

Be Careful About What You Buy at the Grocery Store 

In order to instill the lessons that come with the Red Light, Green Light Foods system for kids, you need to make wise choices when you’re shopping for groceries.

Simply keeping red foods out of your kitchen can work really well. These include frozen snacks, salty snacks, sugary treats, chips, pizza, desserts, and other junk foods.

More About Red, Yellow, and Green Foods 

Here are some other guidelines that can help you make the most of the Red Light, Green Light Foods system for kids:

  • Red light foods should be a part of your children’s diet, but the key is to teach them that these foods should be enjoyed in moderation. Teach them that they shouldn’t restrict these foods entirely, as doing so can lead to binge eating later on. You might, for example, have pizza on the weekend only, as a treat.
  • Yellow light foods are those that are considered healthy, and they do have good amounts of nutrients in them. However, they also come with a lot of calories, so they should be enjoyed in moderation. Examples include oils, bread, nuts, meat, cheese, yogurt, and whole grain crackers. Enjoy these only at mealtime to avoid having too much of them. However, if your children are really active, some of these foods can make healthy snacks.
  • Green light foods can be enjoyed at any time, as they are really low in calories and really high in nutrients. These should be the first choice when selecting ingredients for meals. They include fruits and vegetables, as a couple of examples.

There you have it: a simple method that you can use to teach your children an easy way to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy foods!

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