Healthy Eating Habits for Your Child

By teaching your children healthy eating habits, and modeling these behaviors in yourself, you can help your children maintain a healthy weight and normal growth. Also, the eating habits your children pick up when they are young will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle when they are adults.

Your child’s health care provider can evaluate your child’s weight, height and explain their BMI and let you know if your child needs to lose or gain weight or if any dietary changes need to be made.

Some of the most important aspects of healthy eating are portion control and cutting down on how much fat and sugar your child eats or drinks. Simple ways to reduce fat intake in your child’s diet and promote a healthy weight include serving:

Make a wide variety of healthful foods available in the house. This practice will help your children learn how to make healthy food choices. Leave the unhealthy choices like chips, soda, and juice at the grocery store. Serve water with meals.

A child can detect hunger and fullness better when they eat slowly. Before offering a second helping or serving, ask your child to wait at least 15 minutes to see if they are truly still hungry. This will give the brain time to register fullness. Also, that second helping should be much smaller than the first. And if possible, load that second helping with more veggies

Try to make mealtimes pleasant with conversation and sharing, not a time for scolding or arguing. If mealtimes are unpleasant, children may try to eat faster to leave the table as soon as possible. They then may learn to associate eating with stress.

These activities will give you hints about your children’s food preferences, an opportunity to teach your children about nutrition, and provide your kids with a feeling of accomplishment. In addition, children may be more willing to eat or try foods that they help prepare.

Continuous snacking may lead to overeating, but snacks that are planned at specific times during the day can be part of a nutritious diet, without spoiling a child’s appetite at meal times. You should make snacks as nutritious as possible, without depriving your children of occasional chips or cookies, especially at parties or other social events. Have healthy snacks within reach and at eye level.

Perhaps restrictinmg desserts to weekends and only having sodas on weekends. Making sure water bottles are empty before dinner time. to encourage hydration

Try to eat only in designated areas of your home, such as the dining room or kitchen. Eating in front of the TV may make it difficult to pay attention to feelings of fullness, and may lead to overeating.

Find out more about their school lunch program, or pack their lunch to include a variety of foods. Also, select healthier items when dining at restaurants.

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