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Monday, June 9, 2008

Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits for Children

Healthy Eating Habits
It is essential for children to practice healthy eating habits. As a parent your are in the best position to influence your child. If you eat healthy food and exercise regularly, your child is more likely to do the same.

Here are some tips to help your child stay healthy.

1. Encourage your child to :

* Eat a variety of food and eat all food in moderation.

* Eat at regular meal times and do not skip meals

* Eat breakfast every day. Food such as wholegrain cereals with low fat milk or wholemeal bread with peanut butter are good breakfast choices.
Eating Healthy Breakfast

2. Prepare home-cooked meals at least twice a day (e.g. breakfast and dinner). Cook food with less salt, fats,oil and sugar. Use healthier cooking methods such as steaming, microwaving, boiling stir-frying and grilling instead of deep frying.

3. Milk is important for your growing child. Include milk as part of his meal. If your child does not like to drink milk, you can include alternatives such as calcium fortified yogurt, cheese, soya bean milk or small fish with edible bones, such as sardines or anchovies. If your child is overweight, you can use low fat milk products.
Drinking milk is Healthy

4. Avoid buying unhealthy snacks that are high in fat, sugar and salt. If your child wants a snack, provide healthy choices such as:

* A serving of fruit
* A glass of low fat milk
* A portion of low fat fruit yogurt
* A sandwich (tuna/chicken/egg)
* 4 plain biscuits

5. Keep a bowl of fruit on the dinning table where your child can easily reach for them.

6. Avoid cooking extra food. Cook enough for one meal. Advise your child to leave the table once he has finished the meal.

7. When eating out, you may suggest two healthy options to your child, "Would you like to have noodle soup or porridge?" instead of asking "What would you like to eat?". Teach your child to say "no" to people who offer him food when he is not hungry. If your child keeps asking for unhealthy snacks, say "no" firmly and offer a healthy snack instead.

8. Limit pocket money to a reasonable amount (based on your child's age). Do not give excess pocket money for your child to spend on unhealthy snacks.

9. You can help your child to reduce his intake of unhealthy food step by step. For example:

* If your child drinks 7 cans of soft drinks a week, cut down to 4.
Once he has achieved his goals, try to reduce the quantity further.

* Drink half a can of soft drink or dilute it with ice or add water to the drink.

* Buy a smaller bag of snacks and share it with others.

10. Praise your child when he chooses to eat healthier food.

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Blogger Jeff Iversen said...

I like the idea of giving a child choices too. Hopefully it will give them the ability to make better food choices when they get older. Here are a few more ideas I put down in my blog today on the same subject.

When Does A "Happy Meal" Become Sad?

June 12, 2008 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger henny said...

Healthy eating habit should be started at very young age. Mom should use all her creativity too in this case. Couple days ago I post about 'Cute Meal Box for Kids'.

June 13, 2008 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger Jaanvi said...

Well i really liked this idea. What I am writing about is the general behavioral needs of the child.Do check out.

June 18, 2008 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

These are great tips. I am not the healthiest eater and I love bad snacks (chips, dips, etc) so having Hunter has actually helped me because I don't want him to have the bad habits so I eat my bad snacks less...
Wow, can I do a run-on sentence or what!

June 20, 2008 at 4:07 AM  

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