Raising a Healthy Eater

Children are likely to copy your table manners, your likes and dislikes, and your willingness to try new foods.

Raising a Healthy Eater

 

A LIFETIME OF GOOD CHOICES

 

If you think your child isn’t eating the right foods or enough of them, you are not alone. Nine out of 10 parents pressure their children to eat! Pressure makes a child eat worse, not better. Experts say the best thing you can do is relax — a battle over food is one you’re sure to lose.

Raising Good Eaters

Do your job with feeding, and then trust your child to do her job with eating. Once your child is 1 year old, the feeding relationship should look like this:
 

Parents decide:

  1. When to offer food. Try to offer 3 meals and 2 snacks at the same time each day.
  2. What foods to offer. Offer a variety of healthy food. Give new foods in small amounts.
  3. Where to offer foods. Try to get everyone to sit together at the family table.

Children decide:

  1. Which foods to eat. Your child may choose to eat one, two or no foods from the choices you provide.
  2. Whether or not to eat. It’s normal for children to eat a lot one day and hardly anything the next day. Don’t force your child to eat — your child will eat when she is hungry.

Get Your Child on the Path to Healthy Eating

Focus on the meal and each other.

Your child learns by watching you. Children are likely to copy your table manners, your likes and dislikes, and your willingness to try new foods.

Offer a variety of healthy foods.

Let your child choose how much to eat. Children are more likely to enjoy a food when eating is their own choice.

Be patient with your child.

Sometime new foods take time. Give children a taste at first and be patient with them. Offer new foods many times.

Let your children serve themselves.

Teach your children to take small amounts at first. Let them know they can get more if they are still hungry.

Children are more likely to enjoy a food when eating is their own choice.

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