Making healthy food choices is a struggle for all of us! Make a plan with your family about how to make better choices for everyone's health for the new year. Have a family meeting and sit down to discuss why eating healthy and making good choices is important. Don't make the focus on weight and body image, but about keeping our bodies healthy and strong.
Toddlers are definitely a challenge to get them eating vegetables. Puree vegetables and sneak them into sauces and smoothies.
School age kids are a little easier to have a rational conversations with about healthy choices and why it's important. Make an agreement with your child that they must try one new food a week. Just one new food once a week ... but it has to be a real taste. Two to three bites that they actually chew and swallow, not just lick and spit out.
Make a plan with your family that you will have a family dinner at the minimum of once a week.
Avoid processed foods and watch portions. Even too much healthy food is not a good thing. Convert to salad plates instead of dinner plates. Dinner plates are too big and lead to larger servings that recommended. Half the plate should be vegetables, one-fourth lean protein and one-fourth healthy carbohyrdrates.
Make these changes one at a time and set one long-term goal with smaller short- term goals in between. Reward yourself and your family when you reach each goal!
Here's to a healthy and happy 2013!!
Maria Mahoney, MD
Kidworx Pediatric Center