Fruits, veggies and grains, oh my!
vitamins and antioxidants, which can help keep kids out of their pediatrician's office. But one should not live on fruit alone.
You should also be loading your family up on vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Make it a point to serve dark green, orange and starchy veggies at least several times a week, which is part of a healthy-diet inititive set out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Human Services.
What you shouldn't eat are foods with loads of saturated and trans fats, added sugars, cholesterol and salt. Oops there goes the chips!
Here are some tips for raising healthy eaters:
- Eat together as a family. Studies have shown that families who eat together tend to eat healthier.
- Try to limit the food rewards, e.g., "Becky, if you clean your room, I'll give you ice cream." Nutritionists caution connecting food to emotion.
- Preach moderation. With child obesity on the rise, it's important for children to understand portion control.
- Encourage variety. Studies show that it can take as many as 10 exposures to a type of food before a child accepts it.
- Finally, use the grocery story serve as a hunt for good nutrition. Let your kids participate in the meal planning with the understanding that they must select items from the food group.