The messages are everywhere. Commercials for fat-filled, sugary snacks, rows of candy bars at check-out counters of grocery and variety stores and fast-food restaurants on nearly every corner. Even the youngest child is exposed each day to the lure of a low-nutrient, high-fat diet. How can nutrition-conscious parents or care givers compete?
Children learn by example. Whether you are a parent, care giver or teacher, your good example at home, in the grocery store, in the kitchen or at the table is one of the best ways to promote healthy eating habits in children. In fact, healthy eating practices are much easier to maintain when they are developed early. Many adult health problems, including cancer and heart disease, are linked to early dietary patterns.
Here are some ideas for making good nutrition a family affair:
Keep nutritious foods on hand for snacks and regular meals.
Fresh fruit, sliced raw vegetables, whole-grain bagels, English muffins and low-fat yogurt are excellent alternatives to chips and cookies.