Eating Habits and Nutrition

How can I initiate healthy eating habits as a family?

A Answers (4)

  • A , Internal Medicine, answered

    You can eat healthfully as a family by following below given:

    • Try to have one meal as a family at least once a day. It can even be breakfast!
    • If your family is always "on the go," designate family dinner nights.
    • Find recipes that are easy to make. Spend your time with the family, not in the kitchen.
    • Turn off the television, and avoid answering the phone during the meal.
    • Make family mealtime the top priority.
    • Eat around a table, not side-by-side at a counter. Eating around a table is better for conversation and eye contact.
    • Keep family mealtime positive, a time that everyone enjoys.

    Eating together as a family is the best way to teach children healthy eating habits for a lifetime, but as indicated above, the benefits of eating together as a family extend far beyond this.

  • Get the family involved in meal planning. If your kids are old enough to flip through magazines and books, find some healthy recipes (I like Clean Eating Magazine and Eat Clean Cookbook) and give each of your children a different colored highlighter. Let them flip through the pages and place a mark by the recipes they wish to try. If your kids are old enough to help in the kitchen (even toddlers can wash fruit!) allow them some hands on time in the prep process. This helps most children get over the fear of the way things look "different". If they've had a hand in preparing a delicious and nutritious meal, they are more apt to partake in the spoils! Limit desserts as a whole. Sugary desserts should be a "sometimes" treat. Never use food as a reward or punishment. Teach your children that food is to be used to nourish the body and occasionally enjoyed as a treat (yummy birthday cupcake anyone?).

    If you and your family feel up to the task, make grocery shopping a family affair. Have your kids read labels so they can learn about healthy ingredients and make healthy food choices. If your family has a favorite comfort food (mac and cheese, chicken pot pie, fried chicken, etc.) search for healthier, cleaned up versions.

    Remember to involve everyone so that they don't feel like healthy eating is being pushed on them. Plan meals, go grocery shopping together, and enjoy the occasional treat. This will ensure healthy eating habits and long, healthy lives to come.
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  • I like to bring the kids to the farmers market with me so they can pick out a couple of new fruits or vegetables that look good to them. (They actually look forward to it!) Then, we look at recipes and they can pick which one sounds best or they come up with their own.

    When cooking the veggies they've picked, they have the option to help make that part of dinner too.

    I try to make a few vegetable with dinner each night, since the kids have different likes and dislikes. I make sure they each have at least 2 veggies with dinner, with the goal of 3-4. 
  • Baby Madness: Dinnertime
    In this clip from the Discovery Health show "Baby Madness," Diamond Harris, mother of 7, shares her dinner strategy.

This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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How can I adopt healthy eating habits?