FOX19 News at 8 a.m. - 4C for Children Healthy Eating for Kids

Terri Burch with 4C for Children Families today have busy schedules. It is easy to stop for fast food as families run from one event after another. But children need healthy foods and a diverse diet to best meet their growth and development needs. Eating healthy isn't something children readily choose—oftentimes the things they like best are not the healthiest! So they need to be taught healthy eating habits. It's a new year and a great time for families to choose to be more focused on overall healthy eating. Here are a few tips on how to do that. · Be a role model. The best way for parents to encourage healthy eating is to be a role model and eat healthy—and it's a way to take care of their own health at the same time. Children watch and pay attention to everything adults do including eating. Not overindulging in junk food and choosing nutritious food options helps send the right message. Also being mindful about how you talk about dieting and your own body image is important. Keeping a positive approach about food and eating is important. · Cook meals at home together. Deciding what to make for dinner can be empowering and exciting for children. Planning and cooking meals gives the opportunity to talk about making choices and planning a balanced meal. Allowing children to participate in age-appropriate tasks during meal preparation results in families having time to reconnect while enjoying a meal everyone had a hand in creating. · Make healthy snacks available. Children eat what's available. It is important to be intentional about what food is available in the home. Providing healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables versus ice cream sandwiches and potato chips helps children create healthy eating habits because it's easy for them to choose a healthy snack. · Create some fun. Cut a new food into fun shapes using cookie cutters. Put a name to the food that a child helped create. For example, "Hannah's salad" or "Bryson's sliced apples." Talking about fun and happy things while eating together helps develop a healthy attitude toward food and meal time.

FOX19 News at 8 a.m. - 4C for Children Healthy Eating for Kids