Parent Connection: Learning To Eat Healthy Food

Good nutrition is important to all of us, but it is especially important to young children. The food choices made at an early age affect a person’s health and well-being, and eating habits are established at an early age. Sugar-filled breakfast foods, empty calorie snacks, and the lack of fiber in a child’s diet can cause not only health problems but learning problems, too.

Here are some tips that can help you guide your child in healthy food choices.

Allow your child to help prepare foods by giving him/her a vegetable brush to clean several stalks of celery. Or occasionally let your child use a dull knife to cut up pieces of bananas, strawberry, melon or other fruit to put in a salad or have fun dipping in whipped cream or chocolate.

Have a nutritious snack on hand by mixing nuts, raisins, pretzel bits, and sugarless cereal together. Also resist having high calorie, expensive snacks around the house so it doesn’t become a problem.

Offer small portions, even though we often think that a child must eat a regular portion of a food he does not care for: A bite full is better than nothing or a fight.

Make family dining in the evening a special time of relaxed talk and enjoyment. Expect children to eat dinner during that time. If a child chooses not to eat his/her meal, then without lectures or threats, do not offer any other food, no matter what, throughout the evening. No dessert or bedtime snack will soon give the child a clear message about his/her eating habits.

With the busy pace of families today, you need to plan a few hours one day a week to get healthy food choices ready to grab from the shelf or freezer at a moments notice. This is not only economical but healthful, too.

Be a good example because the habits of the parents are a powerful influence on the child. Take time to prepare and serve nutritious meals and avoid the pizza-fast food routine.

…..Karin Klein, Administrator, Red Hill School, Red Hill, PA.

Parent Connection Archive

The Busy Bin
Praise and Encouragement
Your Child’s Fears
Your Child and Play
Teaching Your Child Responsibility
Make a Book With Your Child
Getting Ready For School
Learning to Laugh
Learning to Eat Healthy Food
Encouraging Creativity
Stress and Children
TV and Children