Food tips

Parenting Connection: 10 Food Tips For Healthier Children

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News are here for you with helpful tips, strategies and reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and tutors.

Today’s Topic: 10 Food Tips For Healthier Children.

Sometimes a new year comes with a renewed motivation from parents to change things – and so in January we are talking about food. And no, that doesn’t involve a new diet, but rather a number of ways to raise healthier children by following a few basic guidelines.

Childcare experts at KIDSHEALTH.ORG say they’ve come up with a list of ten tips to help parents adjust to food better. These tips are very simple to follow, and researchers say that following some or all of them will really help you and your family eat better and maintain a healthy weight. The ten tips include:

* Parents should control what foods to buy and what to serve. Children will not go hungry and eat what is available. Now, that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to buy their favorite snack, but don’t let that intimidate you into buying a lot of the wrong foods.

* Schedule regular meal and snack times.

* Leave the “clean plates club”. Let children stop eating when they feel they have had enough.

* Beverage calories matter. Sodas and other sugary drinks add extra calories and interfere with good nutrition.

* Put the candies in their place. The occasional sweets are good, but don’t make dessert the main reason for dinner.

* Keep food away for television and computer. It helps kids avoid mindless snacking.

* Teach children that food is not love. Parents, try not to use food as a way to always reward children.

* Rewrite the children’s menu. This means that when dining out, have your kids try new foods – and don’t always order the standard hot dog, chicken fillets, or pizza. Maybe start by giving them a taste of what you ordered or an appetizer.

* Begin young to adopt healthy eating habits.

* Kids copy mom and dad – so be a role model and eat healthy yourself.

Some of these tips may be difficult to follow, but most are easy – it can make a huge difference in the amount of bad foods your kids eat on a daily basis.