What can parents do? Become a positive role model in healthy eating and physical activity.
- Teach your kidsabout food and why they need to eat healthy nutritious foods. Protein is a source of building blocks for strong muscles, bones and tissue. Carbohydrates provide energy needed for daily activity, growth and development. Good fats are essential for hormonal function and brain development. Minerals such as calcium keep bones strong and healthy. Zinc helps build your immune system. For more information on nutrients and health, go to www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Suggested resource “Nutrient Value of Some Common Foods”
- Keep mostly healthy, nutritious foods in the house on a regular basis. Only keep a small amount of high sugar/salty snacks at home to be enjoyed as a treat. If your child wants an unhealthy snack such as chips/chocolate, make sure this is balanced out with a nutritious food; sliced oranges are excellent with a small handful of chips. Better yet, offer a fruit first and then, the option of a less nutritious snack. Chances are, the child will not be hungry or will eat significantly less of the salty/sweet starch.
- Keep washed fruit on the counter, ready to go. If it is at eye level they will reach for it first; quick & easy.
- Always have an assortment of bite size veggies on hand in the fridge; place in a clear container so they are visible. Have a low fat dip prepared to accompany these nutritious morsels.
- Serve lean meats such as chicken. To make chicken even leaner, remove the skin before serving.
- Limit consumption of pop and juice. Encourage your kids to drink plenty of water. A 250 ml serving of juice is approximately 120 calories. This will take a child 30 minutes of running to burn it off. Juice is a nutritious beverage choice but one serving size = 125 ml (1/2 cup) only. Buy juices with no added sugar.
Tip: Add water to juice before serving
- Breakfast- Breakfast - Breakfast…It is the most important meal of the day. Parents, be positive role models; sit and enjoy breakfast with your kids.
- Food Game: Tasting different healthy foods, fruits and vegetables as a fun activity. Pick one night a week or month where you all sit down as a family and take turns trying out new healthy foods. Start up a discussion on the flavors, textures; was it good, tasty? Show your kids that foods come in a wide variety.