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Easy Steps to Your Child's Nutrition

Parents’ Potluck: Tips on Raising Healthy Kids

Top parenting tips from WebMD members.

3. How do you discipline your kids?

  • Time outs. I don't like spanking. I was spanked and I resented the heck out of my parents for doing it.
    -- sahmommyof1
  • [Using humor] can break those difficult moments that could degenerate. If you can laugh, you can avoid getting angry.
  • We keep a fairly steady schedule so that our son knows what to expect.  We have strong personal self-control and act as role models to teach him self-control and its value. He knows that if we say something, we follow through on it.
    -- Iocasta
  • Sometimes we just let the consequences of what our daughter is doing do the disciplining -- like if she puts her paper doll in the toilet she obviously doesn't get to play with the paper doll anymore.  She's learning that every action she takes has a consequence, be it good or bad.
    -- mias_mommy1
  • We do "spank" with a swat on the thighs, but not in anger. Our son gets a warning, then is told again, and [then] we ask if he wants a spanking and count to three. We rarely get past two before he complies.
    -- sarahdear

4. What are your child’s favorite healthy but simple snack foods?

  • My daughter loves apple slices. She'll take them over a piece of candy any day. 
    -- mias_mommy1
  • I've never been one to [cut] pears into rabbit [shapes] etc., so I don't have many cutesy ideas. My kids love homemade muffins, cornbread, fruit salad, scones, etc.  I make several baked items at once and then freeze the batches.  This allows me to offer them variety throughout the month. (We don't have to eat ALL of the muffins in two days.)
    -- ajloven
  • Dried fruit like apples, plums, apricots, raisins, cranberries, and even blueberries, too.
    -- treyna
  • Any fruits. And we use a good quality yogurt as a dip – my son loves to dip things.
    -- Jle21
  • Sliced cucumbers with some lemon juice, lightly salted.
    -- smilingisgood

5. Do your kids get school lunch, or do you pack them something healthy at home?

  • If my kids really want to buy lunch, I will probably [only] allow that once a week or so, unless they can show me they will pick a well-rounded meal.
    -- meredith18439
  • [As a kid,] I always had a sandwich, a vegetable, and a granola bar. For my son, I plan to be a bit more creative than my mom was.  An ideal lunch for him would be a hard-boiled egg, spinach and cheese square, small pasta salad (made with a homemade vinaigrette dressing), and for desert some berries with yogurt.
    -- Jle21
  • I will always pack a lunch for my children.  After [all the greasy food that] I ate at school lunch, they will always have something from home.
    -- mias_mommy1
  • We don't do lunch boxes. The school canteen does balanced, tasty meals.
    -- FunnyCoolLady
  • Once children hit their teens, they're often making their own eating choices. What steps do you take to ensure they're getting a healthy lunch as often as possible? Start when they are young.
    -- smilingisgood
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