Of course helping your children maintain a healthy weight is very important. But it’s up to you to guide them toward an overall healthy lifestyle, too. Here are a few tips for establishing healthy eating habits with your kids:
1. Eat together as a family often—at least five or six times a week. Include your children in planning, shopping and preparing family meals.
2. Set a good example by choosing healthy foods and have them available at home all the time.
3. Play games, activities and sports with your children and let them see you enjoying being physically active every day.
4. Limit purchases of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods.
5. Continue to offer new foods regularly—even if they are foods that a child has refused in the past. It often takes many attempts before children learn to like a new food.
6. Make small changes in behavior to meet family health goals as they are more likely to become habits over time.
7. Avoid using food as a reward or punishment. Use methods other than food for discipline.