Nutrition is what your child eats and drinks. Eating healthy foods helps your child grow and learn, have energy and fight illness. Making sure your child is eating healthy can be an enormous challenge!
Why do children need healthy food?
Tips to Boost Your Child’s Health:
1. Eat together. Research shows that children who eat with their parents or caregivers are more likely to eat vegetables and try new foods than children who eat by themselves or with siblings.
2. Keep trying. It may take up to 10 offerings before a child will accept a new food. Research shows that it may be best to offer new foods in a neutral way, without coercion, and let your kids move at their own pace.
3. Let them serve themselves. Many kids will gladly serve themselves vegetables and whole grains if given the opportunity. Try putting food on the table “family style,” with kid-friendly utensils. Many kids love tongs.
4. Get them involved. Take your kids to the farmers market and grocery store to let them pick out fruits and vegetables. Grow a garden. When kids get involved, they are more likely to eat healthy foods.
■ Kids should eat 3 meals a day.
■ Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
■ Drink water instead of soda and juice.
■ Use sweets, chips and fast foods as a treat only, no more than once or twice a week.
■ A weight loss diet is not good for growing children. If you are worried about your child’s weight, talk to a doctor, nurse or nutritionist.
■ Set a good example. Your child will eat what he or she sees you eat. Everyone should eat a variety of food from healthy food Pyramid.
■ Focus on healthy eating and exercise habits—not on weight.
■ Try not to use food as a reward or to show love.
■ Buy less “junk food” such as chips, cookies and soda.
■ Have healthy ready-to-eat snacks available like pre-cut fruit or vegetables, cheese, yogurt, pretzels or low fat crackers.
■ Limit “fast foods” to no more than once a week. Eating fast foods will make it harder for you and your family to have a balanced diet.