With fast food restaurants around every corner, sugary cereals, drinks, and candies advertised on television, it’s no wonder that our children are often begging for French fries and chicken nuggets, or cookies and chips over fresh fruits and vegetables. With these tips parents can become more involved in their child’s food choices and while guiding them towards a healthier lifestyle.
Fast food is easy, convenient, and affordable, and often what your kids may want to eat the most, but in order to keep our children healthy now and in the future, it’s important to get them involved in making healthy food choices over these fatty, poor options. A few key points to keep in mind to lead your children in making positive food choices include:
- Sit down together for regular family meals
- Serve a variety of nutritious foods
- Offer a variety of nutritious snacks
- Be a positive role model by eating healthy yourself
- Involve your children in the meal preparation process
- Limit fast foods and low nutrient snacks
- Limit sugary drinks like soda and fruit flavored beverages
It’s important to educate our children on the importance of eating right and making proper choices to ensure their good health now and in the future. Family meals can have a huge impact on this. It’s been proven that children who sit down with their families for regular dinners are more likely to eat more fruits, vegetables, and grains. It also gives parents and children the opportunity to stay connected and share the events of their days with one another.
Take your children with you to the grocery store and show them how to read labels and take note of ingredients and nutritional information on labels. Encourage them to choose fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and less processed items. It’s also important to demonstrate proper portions when serving meals. Get kids involved in the meal preparation by giving them age appropriate tasks in the kitchen.
The Friendship Center in Lower Paxton Township offers “Let’s Get Cooking w/Lisa M” classes for kids to learn about healthy eating and meal preparation. The classes cover food safety, basic food preparation techniques, and even etiquette. Classes are broken out by age with 5 classes per age group. Registration ranges from $50 to $63 based upon membership.
- Ages 4-5 Monday-Friday 9:30-11:30 a.m. 8/15-8/19
- Ages 6-9 Monday-Friday 9:30-11:30 a.m. 8/8-8/12
- Ages 10-12 Monday-Friday 1:00-3:00 p.m. 8/15-8/19
Call 657-5635 to register your child to begin their journey to a lifetime of healthier eating habits.