August is the time for back to school routines to commence. Did you know that August is also known as Kids Eat Right MonthTM? In honor of these occasions, here are some tips that may improve healthful eating in your household:
- Focus on health and not weight. Take the pressure off your child’s weight. If your family focuses on eating the right foods in appropriate amounts, your child will receive proper nutrition for their growing bodies. Of course, try to avoid eating out, sweets, junk foods, fried foods, etc. A Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) is a great resource if you feel like you need extra help.
- Make meal times a family event to anticipate. Allow your child to participate in age appropriate activities related to meal times. These could include letting your child pick their healthful foods, create a shopping list, help shop at the grocery store, and help prepare foods or meals in the kitchen. For more age appropriate activities for your child, visit this Cooking with Kids page from eatright.org.
- Let’s get away from the thinking of cleaning our plates. Your goal should be to supply your child with nutritious foods. Their job is to consume what is provided. If they don’t finish their plate, do not force them. This becomes an unnecessary battle and you could possibly make meal times worse.
- At meal time, use the healthful foods or meals that your child provided assistance. This creates some responsibility to try these foods. If there is still a struggle, introduce healthful foods with something that they already enjoy. For instance, introduce different fruits or vegetables with cheese or nut butter.
- Use meal time to discuss anything positive about the healthful foods with your child. This could include their experiences, likes, health benefits from the foods, etc. Don’t be afraid to provide your input. Remember you are a role model! This can spark some interest in healthful foods. For a snack, have these fruits and vegetables visible and ready for when your child sees them and has an urge to grab them.
As your child’s role model, they will be inclined to copy your habits. Make them healthful ones. At each meal, try to include vegetables, fruits, a lean source of protein, a whole grain item, and a low fat dairy item. Remember to always be mindful of how much you are eating. Learn more specific guidelines on portions for your child here.
For more individualized counseling and personal coaching, go here for a tour of our Weigh Forward® program.
Grab the Kiddos & Prepare these Tasty After-School Snacks
Satisfy your salty, crunchy and savory cravings in one punch with this quick snack.
- 2 slices deli turkey breast (about 1 ounce)
- 2 teaspoons honey mustard or mango chutney
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 sesame breadsticks
Cocoa- and coconut-crusted bananas are a treat for the whole family.
- 4 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 4 teaspoons toasted unsweetened coconut
- 2 small bananas, sliced on the bias
Recipes are powered by Eating Well