Making Healthy Eating a Family Thing Part II

When we left last week Andy was headed to check out WeightoWellness. This morning he is excited and sharing with us that he is headed back today and looking forward to beginning his journey, with their help, to a slimmer, healthier life. It is seldom one of the members is more excited about sharing information with the group than Uncle Bud but today it appears Andy has him beat. However, it comes as no surprise when Uncle Bud quickly finds a way to take control of the discussion.

As he promised Uncle Bud has more information as how to develop healthy eating habits in children. He reminds us that he got some of the information he is sharing by reading an article written by Michelle Graf, MSN, CFNP. He is helping us understand the importance of striving to develop healthy eating habits even in young children.

Have you ever know of a young mother whose toddlers were good eaters but suddenly refuses certain foods. Uncle Bud is telling us that is not so uncommon. If this happens it is important to avoid power struggles, as your goal is to get your kids to enjoy healthy foods, and to develop healthy eating habits. If you have ever know a young mother or father who has become nothing more than a short-order cook. It seems they prepare  a separate meal for each family member a every meal. you That is not what you want your family meals to become.

Establish a rule that your child only eats at mealtimes, and established snack times. Don’t force your child to eat at mealtime, but don’t allow her/her to snack throughout the day or carry around a cup of juice or milk. This will fill her up and make her less hungry at mealtime, and she will be less likely to try new things.

Never bribe your child to eat new foods or clean her plate.

Introduce one new food at a time, and make sure the meal contains other foods you know your child enjoys. Also, introduce foods similar to her favorites

  • Substitute mashed sweet potatoes or cauliflower for mashed potatoes.
  • Add bananas, berries and spinach to smoothies.
  • Make your pizza at home, and hide the vegetables under the cheese.
  • Puree some vegetables, and add them to pizza or spaghetti sauce.
  • Add spinach or peppers to eggs.
  • Add sweet potatoes or pumpkin to pancake batter.
  • Don’t expect your child to eat an entire serving of a new food. One or two bites is a great start.

Help your child develop an appreciation of food. Allow them to help plan, shop and cook.

Also, be sure to talk about the food to help your child learn. Discuss the texture, smell, taste, color and what it does for your body — or take your child to a local farm and let him see where his food comes from. The more your child is involved in the entire process, the more accepting he will be of new/different foods.
Probably the most important factor in developing healthy eaters is setting a healthy example for your child. Make sure he sees that you enjoy eating healthy foods. Strive to have regular family meals, and be sure to serve your child the same things you eat. Your child should understand that adults and children eat the same things, and that fruits, vegetables and lean meats taste good. Keep electronics turned off, and talk about the food during meals. Your child should learn that mealtime is for sharing and enjoyment.

Above all remember you have help and backup meals plans at WeightoWellness. We encourage you to call them today. Infact, Andy is going, get a ride with him.

Phone 205-994-2393

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