Family & Children at Meal Time

Family & Children at Meal Time

You are the most important influence on your child and it is up to you to help your children develop healthy eating habits for life. If you offer a variety of foods, you will help children get the nutrients they need from every food group and they will be more likely to try new foods and to like more foods. Children who have developed a taste for many types of foods enable you to be more creative in planning family meals. It can be a win-win situation- and here is how to get started.

Follow these simple tips:

It is easier to plan family meals when everyone eats the same foods. Stop making different meals for each child- Offer everyone the same foods you eat.

Let your child see that you like to munch on raw vegetables. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains with meals and during snack time- Show by example.

Teach your children about food and nutrition by talking about where fruits, vegetables and grains come from. Let your children make healthy choices- Go grocery shopping together.

Encourage your child to invent new snacks. Avoid purchasing processed foods when you can make your own trail mixes from dry whole-grain, low-sugar cereal and dried fruit- Get creative and try new things.

Be attentive to your child by listening and showing affection- Do not reward kids with candy and treats.

Make dinner time a time for family and focus on each other. Talk about fun and happy things at mealtime- Turn off TV and phone during meals.

Try new foods and serve something you know your child likes with the meal. Avoid lecturing or forcing you child to eat- Be a good food role model.

Cook together, eat together, talk together, and make mealtime a family time!