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You are your child’s role model. By promoting healthy eating habits when they are young, you are teaching them to maintain a healthy lifestyle when they become adults.
Healthy eating habits begin at infancy and require parents to inspire, introduce and instill life long habits that are learned over time. Research has shown that parents can help their children learn to like new foods by multiple exposures of new foods. They key is to be patient, be kind and make it fun. Here are few tips to healthy eating habits:
1) Start your child’s day off right by having them eat a nutritious breakfast.
2) Serve more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
3) Drink low fat and fat free dairy products.
4) Get your children involved on grocery shopping and preparing meals. Children will be more interested to try new foods that they helped prepare.
5) Eat meals together as a family. Make this time memorable and fun. If mealtimes are associated with arguing and fussing, children tend to eat faster so that they can leave the table faster. This could lead to a behavior of eating when stressed out.
6) Practice portion control. Avoid offering seconds and making your kids clean their plates.
7) Keep nutritious snacks available and ready to eat; such as cut up carrots, apples and celery. Remove snacks that are high in sugar, and high in fats.
8) Drink water in place of sugary drinks, juices and other soft drinks, which are a leading cause of excess weight gain and tooth decay.
9) Don’t eat in front of the TV. Being easily distracted, children tend to over eat because they don’t realize they are full.
10) At fast food restaurants, guide your children to make choices low in fat, sugar, and calories.
11) Get active as a family. Walk the dog, go for a hike or play some ball, instead of sitting in front of the TV. Instill proper eating habits and exercise will benefit your child