Try these 8 healthy tips:

  1. Eat breakfast — something with fiber and protein (other than that it doesn’t matter!) Be a role model; are you eating breakfast with your family?
  2. Try new foods together: preferably from the fruit, veggie or grain group
    • Eat the same foods together as a family; avoid sending the message that there are adult foods and kid foods.
    • Let your children select a new fruit or veggie at the grocery store.
    • Don’t be emotional about food refusal; try again another day — and remember, there is no need to reward trying new foods.
    • Studies show that foods introduced after age four are refused more often.
  3. Plan meals together — take turns having theme nights and be sure that everyone’s favorites are included once in a while (in other words, avoid being a short-order cook.)
  4. Shop on the perimeter of the grocery store and make a list of the items you need from the inner aisles, which includes mainly processed foods
    • Avoid shopping when hungry (and if your your children are, pick out a banana in the produce section instead of a cookie.)
    • Stop at a local produce stand to pick out local fruits and veggies in season.
  5. Eat out less — this includes ordering take-out food.
    • Set a meal-time routine and determine a designated eating area (not in front of the television).
    • Cook more at home. You can teach your kids to cook or learn how to cook together. It's fun. 
  6. Each meal should be half fruits and vegetables, ¼ protein, ¼ grain.
    • Let your child determine how much he or she needs to eat
    • The parents' role is to provide the food, not control the amount consumed.
  7. Read and understand food labels to make wise food choices
    • The worst offenders in the ingredients list? Sugars listed first and hydrogenated fats.
    • Also look for fiber: a child’s age plus five equals the minimum fiber needed per day (example: age 4 + 5 = at least 9 grams a day of fiber)
  8. And finally: Enjoy your food, eat slowly and have fun at meal time!

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