Saturday, April 9, 2011
HOW TO GET CHILDREN TO EAT A HEALTHIER DIET
■ Put children in control of some of their food choices, e.g. allow them to choose which vegetables to eat; let them suggest a new meal.
■ Make some realistic goals (e.g. to eat two pieces of fruit a day; to try a new vegetable; to replace crisps with an apple or a handful of nuts).
■ Set up a reward system, e.g. award a star or sticker for each healthy eating behaviour. When, for example, 10 stars have been earned, choose a reward (preferably non-food, such as a new toy or a special trip) that
has been agreed upon in advance.
■ Increase the range of foods in your family’s repertoire – try new recipes and offer new snacks
■ Set a good example yourself — don’t show reservation in trying new foods.
■ Praise children for trying a new food. Even if they don’t like it, encourage them to explain why. Try the motto: ‘taste before you judge’ – it always works with my children who end up eating the lot!
■ If a new food or dish is rejected initially, leave it for a while then re-introduce it a week or so later. Children will eventually like healthy foods if they are continually exposed to them.
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