It’s been taught at school for years: good food fuels growing bodies, nourishing the cells and clearing the mind. But adopting a healthy diet is easier said than done, especially with younger kids. What’s a mom to do? The answer is quite simple. Go back to basics with Go, Grow, Glow foods.
Instead of overwhelming your kitchen duties with unfamiliar recipes and gimmicky nutrition hacks, focusing on the three Gs lets you zero in on three main food groups. Once you learn them by heart, choosing and making meals that tick all the nutritional boxes will be a breeze. Here’s everything you need to know about this threefold concept—including a sample meal plan to get you started!
What Are “Go, Grow, Glow Foods”?
A healthy diet at any age is all about balance. The concept of “Go, Grow, Glow” simplifies this by breaking up foods into three important groups.
What they are: Carbohydrates and starchy ingredients, such as rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, and cereal
What they do: Provide energy for the body and mind
Go foods help energize active muscles and fuel developing minds. When kids don’t eat enough of this food group, they get tired quicker and may lose concentration throughout the day. For this reason, go foods are best served during breakfast for a filling start to a busy day.
What they are: Proteins and dairy, such as meats and fish, eggs, nuts, cheese, mayonnaise, beans, and milk
What they do: Build stronger muscles, teeth, and bones
Grow foods are the building blocks for healthy, growing bodies. They’re rich in protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients that help kids grow bigger and taller as they age. They’re also high in calories, which keep the stomach feeling full and satisfied longer. When kids don’t eat enough grow foods, they can miss out on physical growth spurts and feel hungry faster.
What they are: All kinds of produce, including vegetables and fruits
What they do: Fortify the immune system and nourish hair, skin, and nails
Glow foods keep sickness at bay by strengthening the immune system. They’re also loaded with vitamins and minerals that keep the skin, hair, and nails looking healthy. The best glow foods are colorful—think leafy greens, bright bell peppers, purple yams, and fruits in every color. When kids don’t consume enough glow foods, they can be more susceptible to viruses and bugs. So, remember: eat the rainbow!
A Meal Plan with Go, Grow, Glow Foods
Take the guesswork out of your kids’ diets by designing a meal plan based on the three groups. It doesn’t need to be complex. As long as you include a variety of the three main ingredient types—carbs, proteins, and produce—throughout the day, you’re all set.
To kick-start your kids’ journey to healthier eating, here’s a sample one-week meal plan using easy, flavorful recipes. Go ahead and mix and match these go, grow, glow foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Breakfast (Go): Best Creamy Pinoy Spaghetti
Lunch (Grow): Spicy Buffalo Wings with Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing
Dinner (Glow): Roast Vegetable Salad
Breakfast (Go and Grow): Meaty Clubhouse Sandwich
Lunch (Grow): Quick Pinoy Bistek
Dinner (Glow and Go): Creamy Macaroni Salad
Breakfast (Go): Spaghetti Carbonara
Lunch (Grow): Lumpiang Shanghai with rice
Dinner (Grow and Glow): Easy Baked Mussels with Mango and Kani Salad
Breakfast (Go and Grow): Adobo Sandwich
Lunch (Grow): Sushi Bake
Dinner (Grow and Glow): Grilled Chicken Salad with BBQ Mayo Dressing
Breakfast (Go and Glow): California Maki Sandwich
Lunch (Grow): Fried Chicken Wings
Dinner (Glow and Grow): Tempura Salad with Wasabi Mayo Dressing
Breakfast (Go and Grow): Tuna Melt Pie
Lunch (Grow): Pork BBQ with Homemade Ranch Dressing
Dinner (Glow): Stuffed Chops with Sesame Mayo
Breakfast (Go and Grow): Yummy Tuna Sandwich
Lunch (Grow): Pininyahang Manok
Dinner (Grow and Glow): Crispy Wonton Cheese Bombs with Caesar Salad
The easiest way to DIY your own meal plan is to make sure you hit each food group at least once a day. Don’t be afraid to get creative, too. Turn your kids’ favorite dish into a sandwich - there's a lot of sandwiches to try, zhuzh up fried foods with a fun dip, or add a kid-friendly spin to a salad or even a classic macaroni salad. With go, grow, glow foods as your blueprint, you’re sure to have a menu they can’t say no to.
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