Anytime & Sometimes Foods

Not all food is the same. Some food provides benefits, and some are made for fun. Explain to kids the difference between "anytime" and "sometimes" foods.

Anytime Foods are foods we can eat every day, like fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Anytime foods are:

  • Vegetables—fresh, frozen, steamed, or canned.
  • Fruits—fresh, frozen, dried, or canned (in its own juices).
  • Low-sugar drinks—water, nonfat and lowfat milk, and unsweetened herbal teas.
  • Whole grains—whole-grain or whole-wheat breads, pitas, and tortillas; whole-grain pasta; brown rice; oatmeal; hot and cold unsweetened breakfast cereals.
  • Nonfat and lowfat milk and milk productscheese, cottage cheese, milk, and yogurt.
  • Lean meats that are baked, broiled, grilled, or steamed—Beef and pork (trimmed of fat); extra-lean ground beef; chicken and turkey without skin; tuna canned in water; fish and shellfish; beans; tofu; and egg whites

Sometimes Foods are foods we should only enjoy once in a while, like cookies, chips, sodas, and snacks high in sugar, fat, and salt. Some sometimes foods are:

  • Deep-fried or battered vegetables, or vegetables fried in oil.
  • Fruits canned in syrup.
  • Sweetened breakfast cereals, and non-whole-grain bakery items like doughnuts, muffins, croissants, sweet rolls, crackers, cookies, chips, cakes, and pies.
  • Full-fat milk and milk products, like whole milk, full-fat cheese and spreads, cream cheese, whole-milk yogurt, ice cream, ice milk, frozen yogurt, and puddings.
  • Fatty or fried meats, like fried chicken, hamburgers, or seafood; ribs; bacon; fried chicken; chicken nuggets; hot dogs; deli lunch meats; pepperoni; sausage; salami; and whole eggs cooked with added fat.
  • Sugary or fatty drinks, like whole milk, soda, and fruit drinks with less than 100% juice.