Healthy eating is an important life skill. It helps children grow, develop and do well in school. It prevents childhood and adolescent health problems such as obesity, dental caries, and iron deficiency anemia. It lowers the risk of future chronic disease such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.Parents can "turn kids on" to healthful eating by emphasizing fun and family involvement. Let children help with food shopping and preparation - it's always more fun to eat what you've helped select and prepare. Keep food varied and interesting, providing children with an array of fruits and vegetables of different colors, textures, shapes and sizes, such as kiwis, oranges, red peppers and broccoli. Look to the nutrition facts information of food products to help make healthful choices. If your child selects a high-fat food, offer lower-fat choices later in the day or over the next few days. Remember, all foods can be part of healthful eating pattern.
Children often cannot consume the amount of food in regular meals that will meet all their dietary needs, so snacks are an important part of their diet.Some ideas for healthy between meal snacking
Make healthy snacks easy and convenient to grab. Good ideas include apples, grapes, boxes of juice and cleaned, cut carrots and celery sticks.
Other tempting snack choices include nuts, mini-pizzas, cheese and crackers, a bowl of cereal topped with milk and fresh fruit and blended fruit milkshakes.
Buy plain or flavored yogurt in one quart containers and let kids make individual "sundaes" with mini graham crackers, sprinkles, chocolate chips, granola, fresh berries and other toppings.
When your child wants something -
Juicy: offer fruits
Crispy: offer pumpkin seeds, carrot sticks, cucumber strips, toast or cereal
For thirst: offer vegetable juices, or fruit and yogurt shakes.