Feeding Healthy Families
At no other point in life are healthy attitudes about eating more easily instilled, beneficial, and long lasting than in childhood. Here are some tips on how to help children make positive eating habits at an early age.
1. Parents-Healthy Eating Habits Begin with You
Model proper eating habits in front of your children; whatever you are eating, they will want to eat as well.
2. Stock up on 'Value Added Foods'
Preference for sweet foods is instinctual. Instead of giving children soda give them 100% fruit juice that fortified with calcium and vitamins A and D. For dessert, top sugar free vanilla pudding (made with milk) with slices of fresh fruit.
3. Don't keep bad nutritional choices in the house
Keep your kitchen well stocked with string cheese, peanut butter, fresh fruit, and other healthy snacks instead of sugary candies or greasy potato chips. Keeping these out of the house is the easiest way to avoid eating them.
4. Make Food Fun
A wide variety of foods can appeal to kids when you involve them in aspects of its assembly and presentation. Let them draw faces or pictures by arranging the toppings on pizzas or pancakes. Play with seasonal colors and shapes. Scale foods to little hands with items baby corn, miniature carrots, and tiny sandwiches cut out into fun shapes with cookie cutters.
5. Put a high value on Family Time
By eating together regularly and using mealtime as an opportunity to share the highlights of the day, families reinforce positive associations with food and eating. Kids who eat with their families also typically make healthier food choices than those left to their own devices.