Getting your kids to eat healthy - 4C for Children

Parents control the supply lines. Parents decide which foods to buy and when to serve them. Though kids will pester their parents for less nutritious foods, adults guide which foods are regularly stocked in the house. Kids will eat what's available in the cupboard and fridge at home. If their favorite snack isn't all that nutritious, parents can still buy it once in a while as a special treat. Get the children involved in menu and meal preparation. Children who regularly participate in menu and meal preparation and eat with family members are more accepting of new foods and choices. Whatever the meal, make it count. Younger children can help prepare mealtime by mixing ingredients and setting the table. Older children can help with meal planning and food preparation such as chopping vegetables. Start them young. Food preferences are developed early in life, so offer variety. Likes and dislikes begin forming even when kids are babies. Parents may need to serve a new food a few different times for a child to accept it. Don't force a child to eat, but offer a few bites. With older kids, ask them to try one bite. Kids do as you do. Be a role model and eat healthy yourself. When trying to teach good eating habits, try to set the best example possible through the foods you choose and how mealtime is celebrated. Schedule mealtimes and be present during the meal. Put down the electronics. Turn the television off and place cell phones in another room to give undivided attention to family members. This is a time to share conversation as a family—even if it's only for 15 minutes!

Getting your kids to eat healthy - 4C for Children