Anytime and Sometimes Foods
Our bodies need healthy foods to grow well
and to have energy for everyday activities.
Eating healthy means finding the right
balance between eating nutritious foods and
enjoying some not so healthy foods too.
Foods that we call “anytime foods” are great
for you and give your body what it needs for
growth. “Sometimes foods” are often
yummy, but aren’t always great for our
bodies, especially if we eat too much.
Anytime foods are foods that you should eat
each day! They are healthy and full of
nutrients for growth. Some examples are
vegetables, fruits and whole grains, lean
meats, nuts and seeds.
Sometimes foods are foods that you should
enjoy, but not as often as anytime foods.
Consider them “special occasion” foods.
Examples include foods like French fries,
cake and ice cream. For more examples,
check out the chart below.
There is no magic formula for how often
you should eat ‘sometimes foods,’ but a
good place to start would be to ask yourself
if there are any foods in the ‘sometimes
foods’ column that you eat most days? If so,
think about swapping it out for something
from the ‘anytime foods’ column.
Food Group Anytime Foods Sometimes Foods
Fruits All unsweetened fresh and
frozen fruits, canned fruits if
packed in their own juice,
applesauce pouches without
Fruits canned in syrup, dried
fruits, fruits in desserts, like
pies and baked goods, fruit
snacks or fruit leather
Vegetables Fresh, frozen or low sodium
Deep fried vegetables or
Breads and Grains Whole grain bread, crackers
and tortillas, whole grain
pasta, brown or wild rice, low
sugar, high fiber cereal,
popcorn with little to no oil,
butter and salt
White bread, white rice,
crackers, pasta sweet breads,
breakfast cereals, cookies, pie,
cake, chips, crackers
Meats and Proteins Lean meat or poultry, trimmed
of excess fat, lean ground
beef, turkey or chicken, fish or
shellfish (not fried), beans,
lentils, egg whites, tofu, split
peas, seeds and nuts, nut
Deep fried meats, bacon,
processed meats, like hot
dogs, salami, lunch meat,
sausage, pepperoni, fried
seafood, creamed meats
Milk and Milk Products Low fat milk , plain yogurt,
cheeses, low-fat cottage
Cream cheese, whole milk
desserts, ice cream, pudding,
cheese spreads, frozen yogurt,
egg nog, half & half, creamers
Drinks Water, low-fat milk,
unsweetened tea and
unsweetened flavored water
Soda, sweetened drinks like
lemonade, iced teas, fruit
juices, milkshakes and
sweetened smoothies, shakes
or energy drinks
Desserts Fresh or frozen fruit Candy, chocolate and all other
desserts listed in other
My goals for healthy change: More:_____________
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 www.uwhealth.org/nutrition.
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: (608) 287-2770.
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 © 1/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Clinical Nutrition Services Department and the Department
of Nursing. HF#492