Be A Healthy Role Model for Children
• Show by example. Eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains with meals or as snacks. Let the child see that you like to munch on raw vegetables.
• Get creative in the kitchen. Cut food into fun and easy shapes with cookie cutters. Name a food the child helps makes. Serve “Jordan’s Salad” for dinner. Encourage the child to help you invent new snacks. Make your own trail mixes from dry whole-grain, low-sugar cereal and dried fruit.
• Offer the same food to everyone. Stop being a “short-order” cook by making different dishes to please children. It’s easier to plan family meals when everyone eats the same foods.
• Reward with attention, not food. Show your love with hugs and kisses. Comfort with hugs and kisses. Choose not to offer sweets as rewards. It lets the child think sweets or dessert foods are better than other foods.
• Listen to the child. If your child says he or she is hungry, offer a small, healthy snack – even if it is not a scheduled time to eat. Offer choices. Ask “Which would you like for dinner: broccoli or cauliflower? Instead of “Do you want broccoli for dinner?”
• Be a good food role model. Try new foods yourself. Describe its taste, texture, and smell. Offer one new food at a time. Serve something your child likes along with the new food. Offer new foods at the beginning of a meal, when your child is very hungry. Avoid lecturing or forcing your child to eat.