Teaching Kids to Eat Healthy

Meghan Fredette, MD
Teaching kids to eat healthy

The holiday season is a time for celebration, with family, friends, and food! But now it’s time to settle in for the rest of winter; and with long, cold nights and short days, food can often serve as comfort. That’s why this is a great time of year for adults to get back to healthy eating and teach the kids a new habit to last a lifetime.

Here are a few tips to help you and your kids make healthier food choices.

Don't Go Hungry

While it may sound like a good idea, skipping meals can often lead to overeating. Try sticking to a typical meal schedule at home and packing healthy lunches and snacks for when you’re at work or school. Whenever you can, make time for family meals, eaten around the dinner table and free from distractions.

Steer Clear of Added Sugar

Added sugar is everywhere. Stay away from high-calorie, high-sugar options such as juice, soda, or sugar-sweetened beverages. These types of beverages simply add extra calories and can also cause cavities. Choose water, seltzer or milk as the better options.

Remember Your Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables should be a staple for everyone. Get your kids involved in making selections each week. Trying new ones on a regular basis can help you identify new family favorites. Ideally, half your plate at each meal should be fruits and vegetables.

Choose Well and Wisely

It is okay to indulge a bit every once in a while. The holidays, birthdays and special occasions are the perfect opportunities to enjoy something you wouldn’t normally have. For the most part, though, choose wisely and eat mindfully. Opt for a balance of healthful foods from all the food groups, like whole grains, fiber, lean meats and seafood, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, nuts and healthy snacks. Be sure to help your child eat the right portions as well.

Remember, it is important to model healthy habits for your children to put them on the right path for life. Like wonderful family traditions, good habits can be passed down for generations to come.

For more tips on keeping kids healthy, visit the Growing section of our Lifespan Living health and wellness blog.

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