An ideal diet: How to determine if your kids are eating as healthy as they should

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MILWAUKEE -- Did you know less than one percent of kids ages two to 19 meet the criteria for an ideal diet? With a new school year starting, now's a great time to also start a new meal plan. Registered dietitian Erica Cleven joins Real Milwaukee to help your kids go back to school healthier.


  • The more veggies - and the greater the variety - the better.
  • Potatoes and French fries don`t count as vegetables.


  • Eat plenty of fruits of all colors.
  • Choose whole fruits or sliced fruits (limit fruit juice to one small glass per day).

Whole Grains

  • Go for whole grains or foods made with minimally processed whole grains.
  • Whole grains include things like oats, brown rice, quinoa and whole wheat.


  • Choose beans and peas, nuts, seeds, and other plant-based protein options, as well as fish, eggs, and poultry.
  • Limit red meat (beef, pork, lamb) and avoid processed meats (bacon, deli meats, hot dogs, sausages).

Healthy Fats

  • Choose foods with healthy unsaturated fats, such as fish, nuts, seeds, and oils.
  • Limit foods high in saturated fat, and avoid unhealthy trans fats



  • Choose unflavored milk, plain yogurt and small amounts of cheese.


  • Water should be the drink of choice with every meal and snack.
  • Avoid sugary drinks like sodas, fruit drinks, and sports drinks, which provide a lot of calories and virtually no other nutrients.