Ten Tips for Helping Kids Eat Better

by Kelly Hayford, C.N.C.

1. Appeal to their interests by making them aware of the many benefits they will derive from eating healthy (i.e. every child wants to be strong, healthy, fast, smart, etc.)

2. Educate them about what are wise food choices and how to make them and avoid making sweeping statements such as “that food is bad for you,” etc.

3. Involve them with food preparation as much as possible, at as early an age as possible.

4. Avoid using food as a reward or comfort food, especially unhealthy foods.

5. Be an example by Eating for Health regularly yourself and ask them to help keep you on track (fair is fair!).

6. Don’t keep tempting “junk” food in the house. Do keep plenty of healthy foods and snacks on hand.

7. Make a fun game out of exploring new healthy alternatives to unhealthy habits by taste testing new foods and finding ones that they/you like.

8. Encourage other parents, teachers and family members to make health foods available at school and social functions.

9. Increase understanding and body awareness by conducting a fun experiment having them record how they feel before and after eating a generous amount of sugary foods, for example.

10. Pack a bag with nutritious foods when going out and avoid having to resort to poor quality food choices for the sake of convenience and availability.