While juice has valuable nutrients and gives a concentrated energy boost for active, growing bodies, kids should go for water first when they are thirsty, not sugar-sweetened drinks.
Growing vegetables and herbs at home can be a fun way to teach children where food comes from and to encourage them to eat a more varied diet. If you can encourage your children to eat regular meals with you at the table, it can not only reduce snacking, it can also teach valuable social skills. Children are more likely to become adventurous eaters if they know how to cook. Make it fun by giving them their own aprons and letting them help you regularly with small tasks in the kitchen.
As they get older and more confident, let them cook dinner once a week. If the thought of kids in the kitchen sounds like a recipe for disaster, why not enrol them in cooking classes during the school holidays? Eating slowly is great for weight control at any age.
All the vibrant colours in fruit and vegetables come from natural plant chemicals that have healthy effects on our bodies. Offer your kids a colourful snack of different fruits and berries, or chop vegetables into interesting shapes to make them seem more fun and exciting. Although children are born with the ability to stop eating when they are full, it can often be hard for parents to judge whether their kids have eaten the right foods, and enough of them.
Our research shows that most babies and young children need to try something new seven to ten times before they like it. Keep offering new foods and those your child didn't like before. Scheduled meals and limiting snacks can help ensure your child is hungry when a new food is introduced.
Ways to Raise Healthy Kids
Variety: the spice. Offer a variety of healthy foods, especially vegetables and fruits, and include higher protein foods like meat and deboned fish at least 2 times per week. Help your child explore new flavors and textures in food. Try adding different herbs and spices to simple meals to make them tastier. To minimize waste, offer new foods in small amounts and wait at least a week or two before reintroducing the same food.
Make food fun. Toddlers are especially open to trying foods arranged in eye-catching, creative ways.
Make foods look irresistible by arranging them in fun, colorful shapes kids can recognize. Kids this age also tend to enjoy any food involving a dip. Finger foods are also usually a hit with toddlers. Cut solid foods into bite size pieces they can easily eat themselves, making sure the pieces are small enough to avoid the risk of choking. Involve kids in meal planning. Put your toddler's growing interest in exercising control to good use. Read kid-friendly cookbooks together and let your child pick out new recipes to try.
1. Do Not Restrict Food
Tiny chefs. Crossing bridges. Once a food is accepted, use what nutritionists call "food bridges" to introduce others with similar color, flavor and texture to help expand variety in what your child will eat. If your child likes pumpkin pie, for example, try mashed sweet potatoes and then mashed carrots.
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A fine pair. Try serving unfamiliar foods, or flavors young children tend to dislike at first sour and bitter , with familiar foods toddlers naturally prefer sweet and salty. Pairing broccoli bitter with grated cheese salty , for example, is a great combination for toddler taste buds. Also keep in mind that picky eating usually is a normal developmental stage for toddlers. Do your best to patiently guide them on their path toward healthy eating.
10 Ways to Raise Food-Smart Kids
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8 Proven Tips on How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy | Rasmussen College
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