Your part is to make sure your child has regular meals and snacks that provide a variety of foods from the food guide pyramid. Try to include new foods and foods you feel are important to the growth and health of your child, along with foods he or she likes. Eventually, your child will try them and may begin to like them.
USE YOUR IMAGINATION. Make healthy foods fun by serving them in ways that are attractive to your child. For example:
- make a smiley face with raisins on a peanut butter sandwich or
- cut sandwiches into fun shapes with a cookie cutter
AVOID ALLOWING EXCESS SWEETS AND CANDY. Fruit drinks, candy, and sweets can promote tooth decay and provide little nutrition to growing children.
DO NOT WORRY IF A CHILD EATS LITTLE OR NOTHING AT A MEAL. He or she will make up for it at another meal. And do not allow free access to the refrigerator and pantry. Remember that children need structure at mealtime. Eating together is important in helping them bond with the family and in learning other skills, such as table manners and communication.
ALLOW PLENTY OF TIME FOR PLAY. Children need to be active. Childhood obesity is on the increase. It is up to you to help your child grow up with healthy eating and exercise habits.