16 May 2012

Tips to promote healthy childhood eating

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It’s not always easy to get children to think about healthy eating, but we have get them thinking about it while they’re still young.  Here are a few tips as to how you could promote eating healthy in children.

  • Have regular family meals. Knowing dinner is served at approximately the same time every night and that the entire family will be sitting down together is comforting and enhances appetite. Breakfast is another great time for a family meal, especially since kids who eat breakfast tend to do better in school.
  • Cook more meals together. Preparing and eating home cooked meals together is healthier for the whole family and sets a great example for kids about the importance of food. This is also a great way to pass along traditional recipes from generation to generation.
  • Get kids involved. Children enjoy helping adults to shop for groceries, selecting what goes in their lunch box, and preparing dinner. It’s also a chance for you to teach them about the nutritional values of different foods, and (for older children) how to read food labels. Make your children aware of portion size, and give them permission not to clear their plates, when served large portions.
  • Make a variety of healthy snacks available instead of empty calorie snacks. Keep plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grain snacks, and healthy beverages (water, milk, pure fruit juice) around and easily accessible so kids become used to reaching for healthy snacks instead of empty calorie snacks like soda, chips, or cookies.
  • Limit portion sizes. Don’t insist your child cleans the plate, and never use food as a reward or bribe.

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