Healthy Eating – Family Style
Creating healthy mealtime habits with your kids now can lead to a lifetime of healthy choices. As a parent, the best ways to improve your child’s food intake and encourage healthy eating habits is to:
Have regular family meals. Family meals provide an opportunity for families to reconnect and enjoy a healthy meal together. They can also provide a time for parents to introduce their children to new foods and be a role model for them. Children like the regular schedule of a family meal and, though teenagers may not initially show they like the idea of meals together with their family, studies find that they still look for their parents’ advice and guidance.
Be a good role model. Teach your children to eat well by following a healthy diet yourself. Kids watch what their parents do every day. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy products in meals and snacks. Serve appropriate portions and try not to overeat. Also, try to keep a positive approach about food. Sometimes the best messages we give to our children are ones that we do not say.
Get your children involved. Encourage your children to help you plan the meals for the family. Talk to them about the importance of planning a balanced meal. Include them in the shopping, preparation and clean up of the meal too. While shopping at Meijer have your children use NuVal, Meijer's new nutrition scoring system, to make healthier food choices with your guidance. To get more information on NuVal, visit www.meijerhealthyliving.com or www.NuVal.com.
Don’t battle over food. Try to give your child some control and try not to bribe or bargain with them to try to eat healthy foods. Children decide when they are hungry, what they will eat from the foods that they are given and how much of the food they will eat. Parents have control over the foods that are offered to their child. Establish a schedule for meals and snacks and don’t force your children to clean their plates. Instead of giving your child food as a reward, give them a hug, praise or some of your time.
Fri, September 11, 2009
by Janine Faber