Thanksgiving is always a time of feast and indulgence. But keep in mind the nutrition intake you and your child is consuming while doing so. Learning to choose food choices wisely and smartly starts at a young age.
According to an WebMD.com’s article “10 Ways to Raise Food-Smart Kids”, a co-author of Trim Kids and director of childhood obesity prevention laboratory at Louisiana State University, Dr. Melinda Sothern lists 10 tips on a healthy diet.
1. In order to prevent a negative effect on growth and development such as anorexia in the future, children should be restricted from eating.
2. Keep track and carefully select your food stock at home. Children, also you as a parent, will always eat what’s available. To keep your child’s food habits healthy, keep healthy snacks such as fruits always stocked in your food inventory.
3. “Good” and “bad” foods are not associations your child should remember as. Dr. Sothern suggests to associate your child’s favourite things or things they care about to foods – for example, sports. As an example, the website says “let your child know that lean protein such as turkey and calcium in dairy products give strength to their sport performance”.
4. Reinforce your child’s behavior when they choose healthy choices. Positive reinforcements such as praises and a smile will do :)
5. “Don’t nag unhealthy choices”. It is suggested that when your child chooses or asks for unhealthy food, you can give your child healthy alternatives such as homemade roasted potato rather than buying french fries.
6. Food should not be used as a reward because it could lead to weight problems.
7. Research has shown that children who sat down to eat dinner with their parents have better nutritional intake.
8. Have your child see how you portion the foods for each person. That way, your child can develop a visual memory of serving sizes.
9. Encourage your kid’s participation on commenting on the foods cooked.
10. If you perceive your child as having weight issues, you should consult with a pediatrician before putting your child on a diet.
For more information, check out http://children.webmd.com/guide/10-ways-to-raise-food-smart-kids
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