A: Children can be finicky eaters with their food preferences changing overnight. They care about food tasting good and not always about food that is good for them. Here are a few ways you can improve your child’s eating habits:
• Start offering healthy options when children are young to build life-long healthy eating habits.
• Make family meals fun and relaxing. Try recipes from kid’s cookbooks or cut fruits, vegetables and bread into fun shapes with cookie cutters.
• Set a good example by serving a one healthy meal to the entire family, and don’t make special exceptions when someone doesn’t like part of the meal.
• When children do not like something on their plate, don’t make a big deal. Instead, stay positive and encourage them to try new things.
• Schedule set times for serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to prevent children from eating constantly during the day.
• Do not overload your child’s plate. Children tend to eat small amounts and may be overwhelmed to see a mountain of food on their plate.
• Ask kids to get involved in the kitchen when preparing meals and snacks. Let them wash fruits and vegetables or stir items in a mixing bowl.
• Allow children to choose healthy snack options at the grocery store.
If you are concerned about your child’s nutrition, talk to your health care provider. He or she will be able to provide information about your child’s specific nutrition needs and additional information for keeping your child healthy.
Information provided by Mercy Family Care – Perry, 616 10th St, 465-2575.