Close-up photo of 4 healthy kids

Nutrition Tools and Resources

These tools and resources will help families and communities better understand nutrition and how it relates to maintaining a healthy weight.  These resources are divided in the following sub-categories:

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®.

Nutrition Basics

Families Finding the Balance: A Parent Handbook

Offers practical tips from We Can!® to help parents help their families find the right balance of eating well and being physically active to maintain a healthy weight. The Parent Handbook received the 2005 NIH Plain Language Award for an Outstanding Plain Language Product.

Portion Size Matters new

Learn why portion size matters and how you can eat smaller portions.

Get Started! Eating Healthy and Moving More new

Try these tips from We Can! to eat well and move more and see how easy taking small steps toward a healthier life can be.

Help Your Kids Eat Healthy and Move More new

Find tips for teaching your children to eat healthy and to be more active.

Eat Healthy, Move More Chart new

Use this chart to track what your family is doing to eat healthy and move more each week.

Making Healthier Food Choices new

Find tips to help you make healthier food choices for your family when eating in or dining out.

Secrets to Making Healthy and Fun School Lunches

Use this We Can! tip sheet to learn how to create healthy and unique school lunches that your kids will look forward to eating.

We Can! Fats and Oils To Choose Tip Sheet

Help your family eat better and balanced meals by choosing fats and oils that are low in saturated fats. Use this tip sheet to learn what products are low in saturated fats‚ trans fats‚ and cholesterol.

We Can! How Much Sugar and Calories Are in Your Favorite Drink?

Many people don't realize just how much sugar and calories beverages contain. Use this tip sheet to help your family make smart beverage choices by substituting no- or low-calorie drinks for sugar-sweetened beverages.

We Can! Parent Tips: Using the Nutrition Facts Label

Most packaged foods have a Nutrition Facts label. Use this resource to help make smart food choices quickly and easily.

We Can! Parent Tips: Picky Eaters

Turn the picky eater in your family into a healthy eater using these tips.

We Can! GO, SLOW, and WHOA Tip Sheet

This tip sheet explains the difference between "Go Foods," "Slow Foods," and "Whoa Foods." You can eat Go Foods almost anytime. Eat Slow Foods less often, and eat Whoa Foods only once in a while or on special occasions.

U R What U Eat

This kid-friendly, easy-to-read chart from We Can! has vibrant colors and graphic images that will help children understand which types of foods are nutritious and can be consumed freely (Go), which ones they need to eat less often (Slow), and which ones they need to eat least often (Whoa).

Do You Know Your GO, SLOW, and WHOA Foods: Short "Community News Feature"

This short "matte article" from We Can! explains the difference between "Go Foods," "Slow Foods," and "Whoa Foods." It is a prewritten news story with a graphic or photos included that can be distributed to print media. It is also great for newsletters and hand-outs.

We Can! Weekly Meal Planner

Use this tool to help plan healthier meals for your family. It also includes ideas for healthier breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

Take Charge of Your Health: A Guide For Teenagers

A booklet from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases that is designed to help teenagers take small and simple steps to keep a healthy weight. It provides basic facts about nutrition and physical activity, and offers practical tools to use in everyday life, from reading food labels and selecting how much and what foods to eat, to replacing TV time with physical activities.

Back To Top

Portions and Servings

Healthy Snacks—100 Calories or Less new

Find ideas for tasty and healthy snacks that will help you and your family stay at a healthy weight.

Portion Distortion Quiz

This interactive two-part quiz from the NHLBI tests your knowledge about how today's portions compare to the portions available 20 years ago. It also tests your understanding of the amount of physical activity required to burn off the extra calories provided by today's portions.

Portion Distortion Slide Sets

NHLBI offers these slide sets for public use. The slides can be downloaded for use in computer slide shows, conventional slide presentations, or for online viewing via the Web site.

Larger Portion Sizes Contribute to U.S. Obesity Problem: Short “Matte” Article

This short article from We Can! explains that larger portion sizes have contributed to the U.S. obesity problem. A matte article is a prewritten story with a graphic or photo. You can give it to newspapers or other print media. You can also distribute it to share information about nutrition.

Back To Top

Budgets and Grocery Shopping

Save Money By Cooking Smarter new

This resource offers tips for cooking healthy meals for your family on a tight budget and healthy cooking and baking substitutions.

Compare and Save: Eat Healthy, Spend Less new

Find examples of how healthy meals and snacks can save you calories and money.

At the Store - Save Money and Shop Healthy new

Find examples of how healthy meals and snacks can save you calories and money.

Eat Healthy, Save Money: Short “Matte” Article

This short article from We Can! explains how eating healthy can save your family money. It is a prewritten news story with a graphic or photos included that can be distributed to print media. It is also great for newsletters and hand-outs.

Back To Top

Cooking and Recipes

Keep the Beat™ Deliciously Healthy Eating

This new Web page from the NHLBI features recipes from the Keep the Beat™ Deliciously Healthy Dinners recipe book, as well as instructional video clips, a food preparation glossary, food safety tips, and more.

Secrets to Making Healthy and Fun School Lunches

Learn tips (and secrets) on how to keep lunchtime healthy and fun for kids. This tip sheet provides creative ideas and information on how to pack school lunches that kids will look forward to eating.

We Can! Parent Tips: Cooking With Children

Learn how to cook with your children because it is a good way to help them develop healthy eating habits. Most children enjoy helping in the kitchen. This resource was adapted from the “With Every Heartbeat Is Life: A Community Health Worker’s Manual for African Americans,” produced by the NHLBI.

Keep the Beat Cookbook

As the recipes in this special NHLBI collection show, you do not have to lose flavor to gain heart health and "keep the beat." Enjoy "Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken," "Red Hot Fusilli," "Crunchy Pumpkin Pie," and a "Summer Breezes Smoothie." Contains more than 100 pages of tempting heart healthy, taste-tested recipes sure to please you and your family. Turn your meals from "ho-hum" to "yum-yum" experiences.

A Taste of Five a Day Cookbook

This cookbook contains a collection of recipes from church members who participated in the Black Churches United for Better Health Project. This was a campaign that encouraged Americans to eat more fruit and vegetable servings a day to help prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. Recipes that meet all of the guidelines to increase fruits and vegetables, while being low in fat and sodium are included.

Heart Healthy Home Cooking African American Style

Prepare your favorite African American dishes in ways that protect you and your family from heart disease and stroke. This NHLBI cookbook provides recipes for 26 tested and tasty favorite African American dishes. Recipes give nutrient analyses that include carbohydrates and protein. Also covers heart healthy food substitutions and food safety.

Back To Top

Milk and Milk Products

Milk Matters! For Strong Bones… For Lifelong Health…

This 16-page booklet is part of the Milk Matters campaign developed by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). It explains that young people ages 11 to 18 need calcium and physical activity to build strong bones that last a lifetime. The booklet also lists foods that contain calcium and describes ways to include more calcium in the diet each day. 

Milk Matters with Buddy Brush Coloring Book

This 14-page coloring book is part of the NICHD Milk Matters campaign, designed to teach parents, children, and health care providers about the importance of calcium for children and teens. The booklet, for children ages four to eight, follows Buddy Brush as he explains why calcium is critical not only to good health, but also to healthy teeth, and outlines how to take good care of teeth.

Back To Top

Diabetes-Related Resources

Tips for Teens with Diabetes: Make Healthy Food Choices

This tip sheets provide useful information about diabetes and encourage teens to make healthy food choices in order to better manage their disease for a long and healthy life.

Back To Top

Nutrition-Related Curricula

We Can! offers three curricula that address nutrition.

  • Media-Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be Active!® is a 10-lesson curriculum that focuses on helping young people ages 11 to 13 understand the connections between media and health.
  • CATCH Kids Club is an NHLBI-funded study, created a school health education curriculum designed to motivate heart-healthy behavior in children in grades K-5 in after-school and summer camp settings.
  • We Can! Energize Our Families: Parent Program includes a session dedicated to helping parents reduce the screen time and increase the physical activity levels of their families. During the Parent Program, parents are introduced to youth screen time statistics and learn how to use tools like the We Can! Reduce Children’s Screen Time Log.

Back To Top

Last Updated: July 25, 2012

Twitter iconTwitterExternal link Disclaimer         Facebook iconFacebookimage of external link icon         YouTube iconYouTubeimage of external link icon