Healthy Eating for Children - Changing Your Family's Eating Habits
Planning meals and snacks
- Set up a regular snack and meal schedule. Kids
need to eat at least every 3 to 4 hours. Most children do well with three meals
and two or three snacks a day.
- Eat meals together as a family as
often as possible.
- Start with small, easy-to-achieve changes, such
as offering more fruits and vegetables at meals and snacks.
at your portion sizes . Remember that younger children may eat smaller amounts
than adults. Although paying attention to portion sizes is important
(especially of less nutritious foods), it is up to your child to decide how
much food he or she needs to eat at a meal to feel full.
- Cut down on soda pop and other high-sugar drinks. Serve water to
quench thirst. You can encourage your child to drink more water and fewer
sugar-sweetened drinks by keeping cold water on hand in the
- Consider meeting with a
registered dietitian for help with meal and snack
planning (nutritional counseling).
- Even though your child may not eat the food, it is important to
keep serving it so that your child can see other family members enjoying it.
Also, your child should not think that meals are going to be planned only
around his or her food preferences. Remember, you are in charge of deciding
which foods are served at meal and snacks.
If you are feeling out of control over your own eating
habits or weight, your child may be learning some poor eating habits from you.
See a registered dietitian, your doctor, or a mental health professional
experienced with eating problems, if needed. For more information, see the
Healthy Eating and