Developing a healthy lifestyle is something that can be taught to children at an extremely young age. Not only is it important to teach children the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors, it is also important to explain to children which foods are healthy and should be eaten often and which foods should only be eaten once in a while. Helping your child develop healthy habits a young age can have many lifelong benefits. It is important as parents to encourage your child to make the right decisions when it comes to choosing which foods to eat.

Here are some guidelines to help your child develop healthy eating habits.

Set realistic goals.
– You do not want to overwhelm your child and change their eating habits abruptly. Taking smaller steps in changing the menu will work much better.
Be positive!
-Instead of getting frustrated when you child is not up to trying new foods, find a way to keep the atmosphere positive and fun! They will be more willing to try if it seems like more fun!
Involve the whole family.
-Make meal decisions a family discussion! Try to make sure each family member is giving the food a try! Take some time selecting the menu together and even give your child small jobs to do when preparing a meal. They will be more excited to try something they helped create!
Be a positive role model.
-We all know children follow and say everything they hear or see their parents doing. Use that to your advantage when it comes to
foods! Show your children how delicious healthy foods can be and always show them how much YOU are enjoying them. Chances are, if
you try it, they will too!
Shop for what you want them to eat.
-Make sure the house is always stocked with a very big variety of healthy foods.
Have planned snacks.
-When there is no set time to have a snack, children can snack continuously throughout the day, which may cause them to overeat.
Having a set time in the day to pick a snack can eliminate that.
Portion size is important!
-Be mindful about the serving size on food labels. Pay attention to the ingredients and
nutritional fact. Limit foods with trans fat as much as possible.