Educating young children about nutrition is important because healthy habits carry into adulthood. Teach your children certain foods are reserved for special occasions or events. Children can choose what they eat, but adults ensure healthy options.
- Stick to a routine. Serve meals and snacks around the same time every day. This will help your child feel more in tune with his/her body.
- Eat meals together as a family as often as you can.
- Set a good example by eating healthfully yourself.
- Start routines when your children are young. Food preferences are developed early in life, so offer a variety of foods regularly.
- Involve your children. Ask for help in selecting fresh fruits and veggies when shopping, rinse foods while preparing, or mix ingredients for a meal etc.
- Keep healthy foods in the house.
- Choice is important. Offer a variety of healthy foods and allow your child to choose.
- Be patient when serving new foods. Children need repeated exposure to foods. Try to serve new foods, alongside your child’s favorites.
- Keep portions small. Your child can always have more.
- Lastly, children know when they are full. Encourage your child to eat slowly and don’t force feed him/her. Nutritional needs vary.
Helping your children develop healthy eating habits early in life will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle when they are adults. As parents, your lifestyle and food choices set a powerful example that can last a lifetime.