“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” – Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Stick To It
Taking the steps to improve your and your family’s health through eating foods that nourish, you create an environment in which your children can understand the importance and experience the benefits of good nutrition. Some of the most important aspects of healthy eating are portion control and cutting down on how much fat and sugar your child eats or drinks.
Start Early, Start First
Training your children to eat healthy foods begins at an early age, ideally. Sometimes it can be difficult to get a toddler to eat his or her vegetables and fruits. If you share in this struggle, Brianna McLain, Maui mother of two, has an idea for getting her toddlers to try healthy food: “Put a vegetable (or two) down first, before they eat anything else for their meal. Even if they don’t like it, have them take a bite and eventually they will get used to the flavor and having some greens before their main meal. And try different kinds of preparations. I could not believe my kids were loving a raw kale salad I found at the grocery store when I offered it to them!”
Make It A Family Affair
More ideas for encouraging the whole family to eat healthy foods include: educating your children on where food comes from, letting them participate in the shopping and preparation process, sharing roasted vegetables with them, keeping healthy snacks handy when you are running errands, and creating a healthy self-serve snack drawer in the refrigerator with chopped veggies and fruits in snack-sized bags. By simplifying the food preparation process and by modeling healthy eating, your children will learn the importance of nourishing their bodies with good foods.