Nifty vs. Thrifty

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

9 SIMPLE ways to get your child to eat healthy

1. Commit to a healthy lifestyle for you and your family. Make healthy eating a priority for the entire family. Once you decide it's a priority, the rest will fall into place. It's easy!

2. Start young- It's never too late but starting babies on a healhty diet is a great start. This is a great way to get their palate used to the taste of these foods. Remember, it can often take several tries for them to acquire a taste. If they don't want it the first few times, don't force it. Let them have something else, then reintroduce it later on.

3. Give only healthy choices MOST of the time. Don't forget to give treats! If you deprive a kid too much they will want it even more. Be fair!

4. Expect aggravation from your child. There are times when children are mad that they can't have the treats they want. Just expect that will happen!

5. Set a good example-Eat healthy yourself. If your children see you eating junk, it is a bit unfair to tell them that they can't have it. Be fair and use some discipline yourself. The payoff will be worth it, I promise!

6. Present healthy food with enthusiasm- "Wow, I can't wait to eat these yummy grapes!" or "Hmmmm...I can't decide if I want peas or carrots today! What do YOU think I should pick?"

7. Reward good behavior with things other than food. If a child is rewarded with junk food often, they will begin setting the stage for a bad habit. Reward children by spending time with them (going to the park for example) or another treat.

8. Make healthy food easy and accessible. Wash fruits and veggies and cut them up making them easy to access. You can put them in a bowl and put them on the coffee table or put in little baggies which are perfect for on the go snacks!

9. Get active - The most common place for eating junk food is in front of the t.v. Get outside with your children or sign your children up for an activity.

Once you decide healthy eating is a priority for your family, it will be easy to live by. Sure they will make unhealhy choices at friends houses or somewhere out of your control, but if you set some expectations in your own home your children will be on their way to a healthy lifestyle! Enjoy!

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