Childhood is all about learning and growing physically, mentally & socially. Parents play a positive role in helping children develop to their fullest potential by showing them how to eat well. It is well known that the healthy eating and activity patterns that children develop in their early years will pay back in health benefits throughout their lives.
The number of servings recommended in Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating can be pretty intimidating when your child eats like a bird. Yet no matter how small your child's appetite, he or she is most likely eating enough food. Gender, body size and metabolism are just some of the many factors that influence hunger, and a child's appetite can change from one week to the next depending on growth patterns and physical activity.
Ever wonder how your snacks measure up? Young children rarely meet all their nutritional needs in three meals a day, simply because they can't eat enough food at one sitting. Help your child snack smart & meet their daily totals with healthy snack suggestions.
If there's one food group where kids are often shortchanged, it's fruits and vegetables. A recent Canadian report found that only 20 percent of children aged 6 through 12 eat the minimum of five servings a day. Keep in mind that a child who refuses cooked carrots may gobble up a colourful plate of crunchy raw veggies with a tasty dip. Or offer a tin of tomato or vegetable juice. Fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients and it's important to establish healthy eating habits early in life.
Kids take great pleasure in eating a variety of wholesome foods they like - so encourage this! You'll be helping to broaden his or her repertoire of foods and in doing so, practice one of the most basic principles of healthy eating, eat a variety of foods.