June 28, 2024

Family Resources Newsletter – July 2024

Dear CDA Families,

We hope you’re enjoying the summer. This month, we’re focusing on Nutrition for the Whole Family. Based on your feedback from our program survey, we know that good nutrition is a top priority for many of you. Good nutrition helps everyone in the family grow, learn, and stay healthy.

We know how challenging it can be to ensure that your family eats well, especially with busy schedules. That’s why we’re sharing some simple and everyday tips to help everyone in your home get the nutrients they need at every stage of their development.

Family Nutrition for All Ages

Babies (Birth to 1 Year)
  • Breastfeeding: If you can, breastfeed your baby. Breast milk is the perfect food for infants, providing all the essential nutrients they need for growth and development. It also contains antibodies that help protect against infections. If breastfeeding isn’t an option, formula is a good alternative.
  • First Foods: When your baby is about 6 months old, start introducing solid foods. Begin with iron-fortified cereals, pureed fruits, and vegetables. These first foods are crucial for providing the necessary nutrients like iron and vitamins. Gradually introduce a variety of foods to develop their taste preferences.
  • Keep it Simple: Avoid adding sugar and salt to their food. Babies’ kidneys are not fully developed and cannot process added salt, and sugar can lead to early tooth decay and poor eating habits.
Toddlers (1 to 3 Years)
  • Variety is Key: Offer lots of different foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy. Toddlers are naturally curious and may be more willing to try new foods when presented with a variety of options. Keep meals colorful and fun to encourage them to eat a range of nutrients.
  • Small Portions: Serve small amounts and let them ask for more if they’re still hungry. Toddlers have small stomachs and can become overwhelmed by large portions. This also helps prevent overeating and encourages them to listen to their hunger cues.
  • Healthy Snacks: Provide healthy snacks like fruit slices, yogurt, or whole-grain crackers. Snacks are an important part of a toddler’s diet as they need frequent energy boosts throughout the day. Avoid sugary or salty snacks to promote healthy eating habits.
Preschoolers (3 to 5 Years)
  • Get Them Involved: Let your kids help in the kitchen. They’ll be more interested in eating what they make. Simple tasks like washing vegetables, stirring ingredients, or setting the table can make them feel included and excited about meals.
  • Make it Colorful: Use different fruits and veggies to make meals colorful and fun. A rainbow plate not only looks appealing but also ensures a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
  • Water Over Soda: Encourage your children to drink water or milk instead of sugary drinks. Sugary drinks can contribute to tooth decay and unhealthy weight gain. Water is the best way to keep your children hydrated, and milk provides calcium for growing bones.
School-Age (6 to 12 Years)
  • Regular Meals: Ensure they eat three balanced meals a day, with healthy snacks in between. Skipping meals can lead to overeating later in the day and a lack of concentration in school. Regular meals help maintain energy levels and focus.
  • Whole Foods: Choose whole foods over processed ones. Whole grains, lean proteins, and plenty of fruits and vegetables are packed with essential nutrients and fiber, which are important for overall health and sustained energy.
  • Pack Healthy Lunches: Include a variety of food groups in their school lunches. A balanced lunch might include a whole grain sandwich with lean protein, a side of fruit, some veggie sticks, and a serving of dairy. Involving your kids in packing their lunches can make them more likely to eat what you pack.
Preteens (12 to 13 Years)
  • Balanced Diet: Continue to ensure they eat a balanced diet as they grow rapidly during this stage. Preteens require more calories and nutrients to support their rapid growth and increased activity levels.
  • Healthy Choices: Encourage them to make healthy food choices on their own. Teach them to read nutrition labels and understand the importance of a balanced diet. This autonomy helps them develop lifelong healthy eating habits.
    • Family Meals: Make time for family meals, which can help promote healthy eating habits. Eating together as a family provides an opportunity to model healthy eating behaviors, try new foods, and talk about the day.
  • Balanced Diet: Focus on a balanced diet rich in whole foods, lean proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Healthy Choices: Choose whole grains over refined grains and incorporate a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables into your meals.
  • Portion Control: Pay attention to portion sizes to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit Processed Foods: Minimize the consumption of processed foods and sugary snacks.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Adults should aim for at least 8 cups of water daily.
  • Regular Meals: Eat at regular intervals to maintain energy levels and avoid overeating.


Online Resources


This resource offers guidelines and tips for balanced meals for all ages. You can find easy-to-follow dietary recommendations and healthy recipes.

Eat Right

Provides nutrition information, recipes, and tips for healthy eating for children and families. The site is filled with resources for every age group and dietary need.

Healthy Children

Offers nutrition advice and meal ideas for children of all ages, from the American Academy of Pediatrics. It includes practical tips for parents on how to encourage healthy eating habits.


Features a variety of resources and tips for healthy eating and meal planning. It provides access to government nutrition guidelines, healthy recipes, and more.

By following these tips and using these resources, you can help your entire family eat healthy and stay strong.


Fun and Easy Summer Recipe: Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

Here’s a simple and delicious summer recipe that your family will love making and eating. It’s healthy, refreshing, and perfect for a hot day!

  • 2 cups of plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup of mixed fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of granola
  • Honey or maple syrup (optional, for sweetness)

Layer Ingredients: In a clear glass or bowl, add a layer of yogurt.

Add Fruit: Top with a layer of mixed berries and banana slices.

Repeat: Add another layer of yogurt, followed by more fruit.

Top with Granola: Sprinkle granola on the top layer.

Optional Sweetness: Drizzle a little honey or maple syrup if desired.

Serve: Enjoy immediately as a refreshing and nutritious snack or breakfast.

This parfait is not only tasty but also packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein. It’s a great way to get your kids involved in the kitchen and excited about eating healthy foods.


Upcoming Event

Don’t miss our 2024 Resource Fair, themed “Becoming My Future Hero
on Saturday, July 13th from 10 AM to 1 PM
at our Kearny Mesa Office- 5473 Kearny Villa Road, San Diego, CA 92123.

  • Free Backpacks: The first 150 kids in attendance will receive backpacks filled with school supplies, helping to prepare them for the upcoming school year.
  • Fun Activities: There will be fun activities for all ages, ensuring a fun-filled day for the whole family.
  • Community Resources: Access valuable information from local organizations that support families in our community.
  • Giveaways and Raffles: Enter to win great prizes through our various giveaways and raffles.

We hope to see you there for a day of fun!

I'll be There

Upcoming Workshops

We have FREE workshops all year round. Click the button below for more information and register today:


We’re Here to Help

For individualized assistance with resources or referrals, please contact our Family Resources Team via the contact form on our workshops page:

Contact Form