Be a healthy role model for children

You are the most important influence on your child. You can do many things to help your children develop healthy eating habits for life. Offering a variety of foods helps children get the nutrients they need from every food group. They will also be more likely to try new foods and to like more foods. When children develop a taste for many types of foods, it’s easier to plan family meals. Cook together, eat together, talk together and make mealtime a family time!

Special Diets

10 tips for setting good examples

  1. Show by example. Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with meals or as snacks. Let your child see that you like to munch on raw vegetables.
  2. Go food shopping together. Grocery shopping can teach your child about food and nutrition. Discuss where fruits, vegetables, grains, milk and meats come from. Let your children make healthy choices.
Fresh Food
 
  1. Get creative in the kitchen. Cut food into fun and easy shapes with cookie cutters. Name a food your child helps make. Serve “Janie’s Salad” or “Jackie’s Sweet Potatoes” for dinner. Encourage your child to invent new snacks. Make your own trail mixes from dry whole-grain, low-sugar cereal and dried fruit.
  2. Offer the same foods for everyone. Stop being a “short-order cook” by making different dishes to please children. It’s easier to plan family meals when everyone eats the same foods.
Meal solutions, grains & pasta
  1. Reward with attention, not food. Show your love with hugs and kisses. Comfort with hugs and talks. Choose not to offer sweets as rewards. It lets your child think sweets or dessert foods are better than other foods. When meals are not eaten, kids do not need “extras” — such as candy or cookies — as replacement foods.
  2. Focus on each other at the table. Talk about fun and happy things at mealtime. Turn off the television. Take phone calls later. Try to make meals a stress-free time.
  1. Listen to your child. If your child says he or she is hungry, offer a small, healthy snack — even if it is not a scheduled time to eat. Offer choices. Ask “Which would you like for dinner: broccoli or cauliflower?” instead of “Do you want broccoli for dinner?”
  2. Limit screen time. Allow no more than two hours of TV a day, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Get up and move during commercials. Get some physical activity and avoid the marketing.
  3. Encourage physical activity. Make physical activity fun for the whole family. Involve your children in the planning. Walk, run, and play with your child — instead of sitting on the sidelines. Set an example by being physically active and using safety gear, like bike helmets.
  4. Be a good food role model. Try new foods yourself. Describe its taste, texture and smell. Offer one new food at a time. Serve something your child likes along with the new food. Offer new foods at the beginning of a meal, when your child is very hungry. Avoid lecturing or forcing your child to eat.

 

Nutrition TipSheet No. 2: September 2009. Center for Nutrition USDA is an equal opportunity Policy and Promotion provider and employer.

Go to MyPyramid.gov for more information.

Important Walmart Disclaimer: All content, including but not limited to, recipe and health information provided is for educational purposes only. Such content is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a medical professional. Such content does not cover all possible side effects of any new or different health program. Consult your medical professional for guidance before changing or undertaking a new diet or exercise program. Advance consultation with your physician is particularly important if you are under eighteen (18) years old, pregnant, nursing, or have health problems.

If you have dietary restrictions and/or allergies, always read the ingredient list carefully for all food products prior to consumption. Allergens and their derivatives can have various names and may be present in some food brands but not others. If the ingredient list is not available on the food product, check with the food manufacturer, or do not consume the product. If you have a food allergy, speak to your physician and/or a registered dietitian for a comprehensive list of foods and their derivatives to avoid prior to using any recipe from Walmart.com. Neither the author nor Walmart.com assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.

Product information is provided by the supplier or manufacturer of the product and should not be construed as advice. Walmart does not sponsor, recommend or endorse any third party, product, service or information provided on this site.

The Walmart.com site includes Flash technology. To avoid interruption of software designed to aid visually-impaired people, please turn off your Flash player.