Help Your Children Develop Great Eating Habits with These Helpful Tips During National Nutrition Month

By Leslie Terjesen on Wednesday, March 9, 2016

March is National Nutrition Month and with these helpful tips from Eatright.org you can help your child to grow up into a healthy eater. Nutrition is key when raising young children. It has many proven benefits such as strong bones, healthy developing brains, prevent disease, and even improve the social aspects around meal time with family or friends. However getting your child to eat healthy can be a tricky task. Following these tips can help

  • Serve regular, balanced meals and snacks with a variety of nutrient-rich foods.
  • Provide calm, pleasant meal times where adults and children can talk together.
  • Allow children to use their internal signals to decide how much and what to eat.
  • Explore a variety of flavors and foods from different cultures and cuisines.
  • Share an appreciation for healthful food, lovingly prepared and shared with others.
  • Make food safety, includingwashing hands, a part of every eating occasion.
  • Teach basic skills for making positive food choices away from home.
  • Find credible food and nutrition resources when you don’t know the answer.

This list can help to improve your child’s nutrition and eating habits. However what will really help is regular family times and making sure you involve your child in nutrition from the beginning. It’s not just enough if you do it for them; make sure you talk to them about it.

Make Family Meal Times a Priority

Sometimes a very simple act can have important, long-lasting benefits. According to parenting and health experts, that is exactly the case with family meal times. Eating and talking together helps:

  • Foster family unity.
  • Prevent behavior problems at home and school.
  • Enhance academic success.
  • Improve nutrition.
  • Promote healthy weight for kids.

Fitting family meals in whenever you can significantly improves the above mentioned. So if family meals during the week are not a possibility due to time, try weekends or snack time, those count too.

Get Kids Involved in Nutrition

This one is fun for everyone and it can happen anywhere:

  • Your kitchen – teach kids how to cook, correct hygienic preparation, and hand washing
  • The grocery store – teach kids how to read labels, explore the different aisles (outside aisles where food is more fresh, inside aisles foods are boxed or more processed)
  • Garden/community garden- teach kids to grow their own food, the difference between organic and non-organic food, they will also feel accomplished at the fruits and vegetables they have grown.

 

Source: http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/nutrition/eating-as-a-family/raising-healthy-eaters-from-preschool-to-high-school