Often parents are frustrated with what their children are eating and often ask our pediatricians and nutritionist how to implement healthy choices for their children. Our resident nutritionist, Susan Jones suggests the following tips to keep your children healthy:
- Stick to your regular meals and eating patterns as often as possible. Avoid skipping meals and overeating at other meals.
- Include children in the cooking and food preparation process. This is a great activity for the entire family.
- Organize family activities that involve being physically active. Take a walk to look at the neighborhood lights and visit a bowling alley or ice-skating rink instead of sitting at a movie theatre. Ensure that your kids are not watching T.V. or playing video games for long periods of time. Limit screen time to a total of two hours each day. If they do play a video game, “Just Dance” is an option that can get the whole family up and moving.
- Include water and low-fat milk as primary beverages. Avoid sweetened drinks such as iced tea and sodas.
- Give gifts that encourage activity and family time away from screens. Gifts such as a soccer ball, jump ropes, hula hoops, and two or more player board games will encourage activity and participation.
Make the healthy choice the easy choice!
- Make fruit easy to reach and visible. Instead of a bowl of candy, place mandarins or other fruit in reach of children for a healthy treat.
- Be fun and festive by including colors in the dietary plan. Red and green fruits and vegetables can be used to celebrate Christmas. If you’re celebrating Hanukah, try using blueberries, bananas, or pears.
- Always include vegetables at meals and try and introduce new ones as a part of the holiday celebrations. This will make the experience special and fun to try.
Remember, children learn from adults. Set a good example and the whole family can have a healthy and happy holiday season.