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Saturday, September 18, 2010

How to Make a Healthy Home- Nutrition Tips for Picky Eaters

  1. Start by introducing healthier elements into foods you child already likes (ie: blueberry pancakes, carrot muffins, fruit slices over cereal, chunks of bell pepper in potato salad, or shredded veggies over rice).
  2. Include your kids in the prep work.  By being involved in grocery shopping and food preparation, your kids will have more 'buy-in'. If they feel some ownership over the meal, they are more likely to eat it.
  3. Don't buy unhealthy foods.  Out of sight, out of mind.  If chips and cookies aren't around, your kids can't eat them.  They may resist at first, but when they get hungry, they'll start munching on carrot sticks.  Keep healthy foods on hand.
  4. Schedule snack time and stick with it.  Kids like routine.  If your kids know they will only get food at certain times, they will likely eat when they get it.  Try having snacks that incorporate two food groups (ie: cheese and whole-grain crackers, apple slices with low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese).
  5. Have healthy finger foods available.  Kids like to pick up food, so give them food they can handle. Fruit and veggie chunks are great finger-food options.
  6. Repeal the "clean your plate" rule.  Kids know when they're full so let them stop. 
  7. Encourage kids to eat their colors.  This game works well with younger kids.
  8. Don't cut out treats all together.  Moderation. A scoop of ice cream or a serving of Oreos is all right occasionally.  If you cut them out completely, your kids are more likely to overeat when they do get them. 
  9. Veg out at the dinner table, not the TV. Kids may not notice they're full because they're wrapped up in the TV show.  Eating as a family is a good time to catch up.
  10. Be a good role model.  The best way to influence kids is by example. Don't expect them to eat spinach if you won't touch it.

Thank you to Empower Me for the great hand-outs at CHOP's Healthy Kids Day.

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