Photo of colorful fruits and vegetables

Choosing Foods for Your Family

GO, SLOW, and WHOA Foods

An easy way to learn about which foods are lower in fat and calories is to think in terms of GO, SLOW, and WHOA

GO Foods are:

  • Lowest in fat and sugar
  • Relatively low in calories
  • "Nutrient dense" (rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients important to health)
  • Great  to eat anytime

Examples include:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
  • Lean meat, poultry, fish
  • Beans, eggs, and nuts

SLOW Foods are:

  • Higher in fat, added sugar, and calories
  • To be eaten sometimes/less often

WHOA Foods are:

  • Highest in fat and added sugar
  • "Calorie-dense" (high in calories)
  • Often low in nutrients
  • To be eaten only once in a while/on special occasions, in small portions

This downloadable GO, SLOW, and WHOA Foods chart pdf icon (136 KB) has examples of foods in each group.  You can place it on your fridge, share it with your family, and/or take it to the grocery store.  Also, check out the colorful U R What U Eat pdf icon (2.3 MB) for a cool version created just for the kids. And, don’t forget to look at the Calories Needed Each Day parent tip sheet pdf icon (83 KB) too to help you determine how much of these foods to eat to maintain energy balance.

Last Updated: July 3, 2012

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