1. Eliminate stealth sugars. Kids and teens should have less than 25 grams—or 6 teaspoons—of added sugars per day, according to the American Heart Association. (Children under age 2 shouldn’t have any.) But that doesn’t mean no dessert. “Limiting the added sugars your child gets from everyday staples (such as cereal and yogurt) and foods you don’t normally think of as sweet (such as bread, condiments, pasta sauce, and peanut butter) leaves room for the occasional cookie or ice cream cone,” says Amy Keating, R.D., a CR dietitian. And don’t keep sugary drinks, such as fruit drinks and soda, in the house. Kids ages 2 to 19 get about 7 percent of their daily calories from these beverages.

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2. Eat together whenever possible. If your child regularly sees you eating healthy foods, he or she is more likely to do so as well. Dining as a family has been linked with better academic performance, and lower risks of depression and substance abuse, as well as lower rates of obesity and eating disorders.

3. Include fruits and veggies at every single meal. This is actually easier than it sounds with a little bit of clever camouflage. For example, serve salsa as a dip with a few low-sodium corn chips, add mashed banana to plain yogurt, and toss microwaved frozen riced cauliflower into mac and cheese. Less than 60 percent of toddlers get one serving each of fruits and vegetables on any given day, according to a recent study from the University of North Carolina. “Eating more produce is protective against cardiovascular disease and may help to prevent childhood obesity,” says Jennette Palcic Moreno, Ph.D., a childhood nutrition researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the November 2017 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.