Eating Habits for Life
#1 Eat together, while limiting
Throughout history, people have eaten
together, sharing food as well as each
other’s company. This is the best
“quality” time with family and friends -
it gives us expected times to be together
and connect. Keep up standards for
where food can be eaten in the home.
Eat at a table rather than on the bed or
couch. Avoid “multi-tasking” with food.
Don’t let TV or use of other electronic
devices or social media disturb the
important custom of eating together.
#2 Eat breakfast
Breakfast skippers often have a dip in
energy earlier in the day and a
rollercoaster of hunger in the afternoon
to evening hours. Make sure you get the
brain-energy and fuel needed every day.
#3 Limit sugary beverages
Sugar sweetened beverages such as
regular soda, juice, fruit drinks and
flavored coffee (frappuccino) add extra
calories, do not satisfy hunger and have
very little nutrients. Make water or low-
fat milk the primary drink with meals.
Drink water between meals. Try adding
an orange or cucumber slice or a sprig of
fresh mint to your water for flavor. Not
having sugar sweetened drinks in your
house will help lower how much you
#4 Choose satisfying foods to
manage your hunger
Many processed foods or “eat-out-of the
bag” items are not helpful in managing
hunger. Try eating foods that are closer
to the farm than the factory. Choose
fruit instead of fruit snacks, milk instead
of fruit drinks, and peanut butter toast
instead of chips. Sugary cereal and a
glass of juice will not sustain energy for
long. Instead, try peanut butter on whole
grain bread or a banana and a glass of
low fat milk.
#5 Eat balanced meals at regular
A satisfying meal has carbohydrates,
protein and a moderate amount of fat.
Pre-washed vegetables; individually
frozen meats, poultry and fish; brown
rice or whole-wheat pasta can add
nutrient-dense food to your meal. For
example, serve low fat milk, a salad and
fresh fruit with pizza for dinner and you
have a balanced meal!
#6 Snacking is ok, mindless
munching is not
Many people eat sweet and salty snacks
whether or not they are actually hungry.
This is called “mindless eating.” Help
cut back “mindless eating” by having
fewer of these items in the house.
Encourage balanced eating by offering a
processed food, with a meal. For
example, eating a handful of chips with a
sandwich, fruit and milk is balanced
eating. Coming home, starved, and
eating 5 handfuls of chips is unbalanced.
#7 Be a role model
Once you have developed your own
healthy, balanced eating style, be a
positive influence for your children,
family and friends. Teach others about
healthy eating, balanced meal choices
and confidence with managing a healthy
What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?
What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?
If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions please contact UW Health at one
of the phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at
Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s
Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500
Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at:
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call
if you have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with
your doctor. This is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical
condition. Because each person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on
your health care team when using this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©
5/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Clinical
Nutrition Services Department and the Department of Nursing. HF#276