April 8, 2008
In a large survey conducted by the American Dietetic Association Foundation, kids ranked Mom and Dad as their No. 1 nutrition role models. This same survey also found that if Mom and Dad spent most of their time watching television and being inactive, their kids did the same.
If your eating habits need a tune-up, here is some help.
• Make breakfast a priority. Kids who eat breakfast every day get more nutrients overall. They fare better at school and are less likely to be overweight.
• Give them a choice. Don't ask children if they want a vegetable at dinner; ask "Would you like carrots or green beans with dinner tonight?" Studies show that if parents emphasize the importance of vegetables and fruits, children will eat them more often.
• Abolish the clean plate club. The clean-your-plate mentality overrides the natural cues a child has to stop eating when he is full. It can also encourage overeating later in life.
• Value family mealtimes. Families who eat together tend to eat healthier.
• Avoid using food as a bribe. Threatening no dessert after dinner if they don't eat their vegetables only teaches children to value dessert. It doesn't teach them to like vegetables. Similarly, don't use food as a reward.
• Try one or two new healthy foods or recipes every week. Some new foods and recipes will catch on and others won't. You might need to expose kids to certain foods 10 or 15 times before they develop a taste for them. If today's Singapore Black Bean Salad doesn't receive rave reviews tonight, it just might next month.
Posted by Lisa at April 8, 2008 6:51 AM
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