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5 Ways You Can Help Kids Eat Healthier

Are you planning to eat healthier in 2016? It’s common for adults to make diet New Year’s resolutions. Kids can also set goals to eat better. The American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a list of healthy resolutions appropriate for children.

It's more fun when parents and kids eat healthy together.

Make it easy for kids to grab a healthy snack by leaving fresh fruit on the kitchen table.

Whether your children make resolutions or not, you can help them develop good eating habits. Let’s Move suggests a family can improve its diet by focusing on five areas. Small changes in eating habits can make a difference. Here are some simple ways you and your kids can start eating healthier.

Reduce Fat and Sugar

Prepare lean meats such as skinless chicken breast or ground turkey. Choose lower sugar breakfast cereals or prepare old-fashioned oatmeal. Offer your child milk rather than juice and switch to fruits for desserts and snacks. Talk to your child about the health benefits of eating foods with lower sugar and saturated fat.

Focus on Fruits and Vegetables

Kids need about five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Have your child’s favorite fruits and vegetables available so they can easily find them when they’re hungry. Make it a habit to snack on apples, carrot sticks or other types of produce.

Keep Track of Between-Meal Eating

Some kids need an afternoon or mid-morning snack. It’s important that these snacks are nutritious if they make up a regular part of your child’s diet. If your children are in the habit of eating a lot of snacks, gradually reduce the number. Eating too many snacks interferes with meals. Leave fruit out so your child has easy access to healthy food.

Kid-Sized Portions

A kid’s serving is equal in size to the back of a child’s fist. When serving a meal, start with single portions. If your child is hungry after finishing the meal, you can offer them another portion. Don’t insist that a child clean his or her plate once they’re satiated.

Eat At Least One Meal as a Family

Try to eat one meal a day together. This meal can be dinner or breakfast. Eat your shared meal at the same time each day. Having a schedule gives structure to your child’s routine and makes it easier to plan snacks and other activities.

Meal time can be a time of sharing and modeling good habits. Both you and your children will feel better when you eat tasty, nutritious meals and snacks.

Kidspace Child Enrichment Center is committed to the wellbeing of children. Contact us for information about our programs for preschoolers and school-age children.

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