Do the above phrases sound familiar to you? Do you have kids that are fussy, or unwilling to try new foods? Try the following tips to help keep you sane and your kids healthy.
1. Surround them with healthy food messages
- Books: read books that convey healthy food messages.
- Activities: provide healthy art and craft activities
- Pictures: hang up bright healthy food pictures in the kitchen.
- Fruit bowl: always have a readily supplied fruit bowl in easy view and within reach on the kitchen table or bench. Put the cookie jar out of sight!
2. Be a good role model
Children learn from those around them. If you eat healthy foods regularly with and in front of your children then they will be more likely to eat the same foods. Encourage other family members and close friends to do the same.
3. Think variety
Ensure meals and snacks contain food from the five food groups. Offering a variety of foods from each of the five food groups will help to ensure children receive a greater range of nutrients.
4. Don’t make a fuss
It is the parent’s responsibility to provide children with food and the opportunities to eat it. Children should decide how much to eat and whether to eat at all. Allow children to eat according to their appetite. It is normal for children’s appetites to change dramatically from day to day. Trying to find a possible reason for a low appetite can help parents understand why their children may not want to eat.
5. Include them — in the kitchen, garden and at the shops
Children who are more actively involved in food choices are more likely to be interested in the food they eat.