The Best Time to Offer Your Preschooler New Foods

Getting a preschooler to try new foods can be difficult. By the preschool years, your child has developed his personal taste and preferences for certain foods, and will be resistant to trying new things. The best way to make your child more likely to try new foods is to present them often, so that trying new things becomes common. To increase your chances of success, be sure to choose the right time to offer a new food. Your child’s likelihood of eating something new depends on a number of factors, and timing is an important one!

Hungry, But Not Too Hungry

It seems logical to think that a hungry kid is more likely to give something new a try; and overall, it’s an accurate assumption. But beware of serving new foods to a kid who is too hungry. If your ravenous little one comes to the table and sees something he doesn’t recognize it could cause more meltdown than compliance.

Try offering new foods when your child is hungry but not really starving. A kid who just needs to eat something doesn’t want to encounter a food he has to think about. You do want him hungry enough to be willing to eat what’s in front of him, however, and this can be a fine balance. Don’t try new foods if dinner is late to the table or you have been really busy or rushed that day. Aim for days when the schedule is more relaxed, and the new food is served on time.

Too Tired, Too Cranky

Gauge your child’s mood before deciding whether it’s a good time for a new experience. A tired or cranky child is unlikely to eat a new food. If she missed her nap that day, or woke up unusually early, it might not be a good day. Try to avoid days where her routine has been disrupted by unusual activities such as a visit to the doctor’s office. Disruptions to the daily schedule can make your little one cranky and unwilling to cooperate with yet another new experience.

Don’t offer new foods when your child isn’t feeling well. She probably won’t be in the mood to try, and especially if her little tummy isn’t quite right, it isn’t a great idea to put something new into it.

The Best Time of Day

Is your preschooler a morning person? Or more chipper around dinner? Look for the time of day when she is most open, happy, and compliant to introduce new foods. If your child often wakes up happy, try to introduce new foods at breakfast. If she is decidedly not a morning person, it’s better to keep breakfast a little more routine.

Dinner is often a good time to introduce new foods because it is the meal where a family is most likely to sit down and eat together. This means that your preschooler will have the opportunity to see her parents and siblings giving the new fare a try, which will encourage her to do the same.

A child who is in a good mood, well rested, and hungry but not ravenous is a child more likely to give something new a shot. Serve up new foods at the best time of day and with the best timing during the week for your child; this will be individual to each preschooler, so don’t worry about what other parents are doing. Pick the time that works best for your child.

Children and the Vegetable Challenge

There is no food group that is more likely to cause a child to push away his plate than vegetables. They are the food that parents most commonly struggle with getting their child to eat.

All babies are born with a sweet tooth; they prefer sweet foods because breast milk, the food they are naturally inclined to like, is sweet. Most vegetables are not known for being sweet, however most babies eat vegetables fairly easily when they start solid foods. Many parents find that the trouble with vegetables starts a little later in life, generally in the toddler years. Unfortunately, it can carry over well past toddlerhood and become a battleground for many years to come.

Serving Vegetables Kids Like

A big part of the reason kids won’t eat vegetables is that they either don’t look very appetizing or are cooked poorly, leaving them limp and flavorless. Many vegetables already tend towards a bitter taste, which doesn’t go over well with young kids, and overcooking them can make it worse. Vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and spinach are all likely to become bitter and unappetizing when overcooked, and they can be very hard to get kids to eat.

To avoid overcooking vegetables, try steaming them rather than boiling or microwaving. Not only will you preserve all the nutrients, but your vegetables will come out with beautiful color and a far less bitter taste. Even so, the right cooking method probably isn’t enough to get your kids to even try them to find out if they like them.

Add flavor to vegetables with sauces, dips and glazes for a taste your kids are much more likely to enjoy. Broccoli and cauliflower work beautifully with cheese sauces. Carrots can be easily glazed with a little honey. Creamy garlic sauce is a friend to green beans. Raw veggies served with a tasty dip are a great way to get older kids to dig in, and the cooking process hasn’t had a chance to affect the flavor or texture.

Hiding Vegetables

There are all kinds of recipes, even entire recipe books, out there aimed at teaching you how to hide vegetables. Some use a system of purees that you can hide in all kinds of foods.

Hiding vegetables isn’t the best way to teach your child healthy eating habits, but as long as you continue to offer the whole veggies, there is nothing wrong with a little creative cooking to ensure your child’s good nutrition isn’t being lost to picky eating.

Some vegetables are easy enough to hide in plain sight; you can mix mashed cauliflower in with mashed potatoes, for instance, and most kids will never know. The average kid won’t recognize the chunks in his pasta sauce as carrots, or the little green strips as spinach. But some are a little trickier. Finely diced vegetables can be easily added to meatballs, and your kids will never even see them.

Even if you choose to hide vegetables in your child’s food, remember to keep offering them; it’s important to their future healthy eating habits that they learn to give vegetables a try on their own. Hiding them while taking them off the menu in more obvious ways will make you child believe you no longer care if she eats them, which can lead her to believe it’s ok to skip them altogether. Hiding vegetables works for the short-term but doesn’t do much for long-term success.

Favorite Snacks for Babies and Toddlers

When your baby has graduated from breast milk or formula and is eating three meals a day, snacks will become an important part of the daily routine. A small, healthy snack twice a day, usually mid-morning and mid-afternoon can be a healthy addition to your child’s diet as long as you make smart choices that will both please your child and provide important nutrients.

Look for snacks that are kid-friendly, provide sustained energy, and that are easy for your older baby or toddler to eat. Snack time shouldn’t take a long time, or a lot of preparation, so having snacks ready to go will make it easier to choose right.

Favorite Snacks for Older Babies

When your older baby is ready to start snacking, he probably still won’t have all his teeth or be able to chew some of the snack options grown ups enjoy. Still, there are plenty of snack options for babies that are healthy, easy to eat and great tasting too.

Your baby’s favorite snack might be one of his first finger foods. Cheerios, the popular early choice for babies learning to pick up foods with the thumb and forefinger, will continue to be a much-loved snack for some time. They are easily portable, don’t require refrigeration and are made with healthy whole oats. Other similar dry cereals will work just as well, just be sure to watch out for sugar content by reading the nutrition label on the cereal box.

Add some protein to your baby’s snack with small pieces of cheese, which will be very popular with older babies. Use caution to cut the pieces small enough to avoid a choking hazard – try cutting thin strips rather than cubes or chunks. Yogurt is another excellent snack option for older babies that adds protein.

Bananas are an excellent snack choice that babies love. One of his first baby foods, he can now handle slices of banana, which are easy for him to hold and also soft enough to prevent a choking hazard.

Favorite Snacks for Toddlers

Once your toddler has cut her molars, a whole new world of food opens up, and that translates to snacks as well. Favorite toddler snacks will be a little more advanced than those you offered her as a baby. Now is the time to look to all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables, and take previously loved snacks a little further.

Popular snacks with the toddler crowd include thin cut apple slices – add some peanut butter or a yogurt dip for a little extra protein, berries such as blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, and grapes (cut up as they are still a choking hazard). Your toddler may also be ready for some raw veggies, such as thin carrot sticks and cucumber slices.

Toddlers still love cheese, and you can now offer slices paired with healthy whole grain crackers. Mix it up with different types of cheese for new tastes. Try melting cheese on the crackers in your toaster oven, and topping it with a small chunk of tomato for a different twist on a traditional snack.

The ability to self-feed with a spoon makes a cup of yogurt or applesauce an even more appealing snack for both mom and toddler alike. She will love feeling like a grown-up eating her own snack, and you will be free to get other things done!

Snack time for babies and toddlers is a great time for fun foods that are both healthy and delicious. The purpose of snacks is to keep your child going in between meals, so keep them small – remember it’s just a snack, not a second lunch!

Appropriate Serving Sizes for Toddlers

Toddlers are obviously much smaller than grown-ups, and it stands to reason that they will therefore require smaller servings of foods than an adult would. Many parents, however, serve toddlers much larger portions of foods than they should really be eating. This doesn’t matter all that much if they are having a double portion of vegetables, but when it comes to portion sizes of some other foods, it can lead to serious problems.

Serving Sizes and Labels

The nutrition label of most food products states what a serving size should be for that particular food, but beware! The serving size usually stated on the package refers to a 2000 calorie per day diet, and most toddlers need about half of that. In fact, on average a toddler’s serving of any food should be about ¼ of what a standard adult serving should be. Don’t go by the label; instead learn how to properly measure the appropriate amount of food for your toddler.

The Right Serving Size for Toddlers

For each food group, you can learn to recognize what a serving size looks like by taking the time to measure out your toddler’s food for a while. Eventually, you won’t need to measure as you will easily be able to recognize what constitutes an appropriate amount. Here are some easy measurements you can perform to start serving proper portions.

For dairy foods, your toddler needs the equivalent of about 16-20 ounces of milk in a day. Not all of the dairy servings need to come from milk, but if your toddler is fond of milk you might find that no other dairy is really needed. If your toddler doesn’t like milk, you can replace a serving of milk with a serving of cheese or yogurt. The average serving size for either milk or yogurt is about ½ cup, or 4 ounces. ¾ of an ounce of cheese will also make up the equivalent of one serving of dairy.

Proteins such as meat or beans aren’t needed in large quantities. A serving of meat for a toddler is about 1 ounce. Other protein sources that make up a serving include ½ an egg, a few tablespoons of beans or a tablespoon of peanut butter. Your toddler only needs two servings a day, so keep a close eye on how much protein you are serving.

For grains, you can measure out ¼ cup of cooked cereal such as oatmeal, or ¼ cup of rice or pasta. ½ of a slice of bread or the same amount of a tortilla make up another serving of grains.

Fruits and vegetables can be the hardest to get into your toddler, but it’s a bit easier when you realize how small the serving size actually is. A serving of fruit juice can make up one of your child’s fruit servings for the day, but should be no more than 6 ounces. For the rest of your child’s servings, about ¼ cup of cooked or fresh fruits and vegetables provides a serving. This is equivalent to about half of a banana or other whole fruit.

For foods like candy, baked goods and other snacks, there is no real serving size as they are not part of your child’s balanced diet. Add these treats with caution and bear in mind that a small amount is as much as your child needs. A toddler doesn’t need a whole cookie, and will likely be happy to get anything at all!

Teaching Healthy Eating Habits to Toddlers

If there is one thing that doesn’t come to mind when you think about toddlers, it’s healthy eating. Toddlers are well known for being picky eaters, and even those who ate whatever you put in front of them as babies have a habit of turning on you when the toddler years start. The healthy eating cause is not lost; there is hope for even the pickiest toddler. It takes a real commitment to healthy eating as a parent, and a little extra patience, but you can teach your toddler healthy eating habits.

Just Keep Trying

The biggest mistake parents make is to give up and simply not offer the healthy foods anymore because their child doesn’t like it or won’t eat it. By removing the vegetables from your toddler’s dinner plate, you send the message that it’s ok to skip them. As frustrating as it might be to see those healthy foods simply left on the plate meal after meal, day after day, consistency and perseverance are vital to getting your toddler to eat better.

Make sure that every meal includes a serving of fruit or vegetables, even if your toddler immediately announces that he doesn’t like what is on his plate. Although you can’t make him eat it, you can make sure he gets the message that these foods are a part of the diet in your house, and they aren’t going away.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Toddlers are famous imitators, and they want to be just like mom and dad. So it stands to reason that the number one way you can teach your child healthy eating habits is to adopt them yourself. Your toddler needs to see that you are eating the same healthy foods you have piled on his plate. The more often he sees you eating your vegetables, the more likely he is to emulate you.

Even if you don’t particularly like a certain vegetable or fruit, don’t let your toddler in on the secret, or soon you will hear from him that he doesn’t like it either. The best lesson in healthy eating is the one you don’t try to teach directly; instead it is found in the day to day habit of watching you eat healthy foods. You not only need to eat the right foods, but avoid the unhealthy ones. You can’t very well tell your toddler he can’t have potato chips before dinner if he sees you snacking on them.

Don’t Offer Bribes

While the habit of offering a sweet treat after dinner in return for eating her peas might work in the short-term, in the long run you will find this backfires. Eventually, she will stop falling for the bribe. Or worse, she will come to expect that there will always be a treat in return for eating what is on her plate. This doesn’t teach your toddler healthy eating, it merely teaches her to expect a reward for what should be a normal behavior. This can translate into other aspects of life, and before you know it you will find yourself bribing her to do everything from take a nap to put on her shoes.

If you really want your toddler to make the choice to eat healthy foods, you will have to do it the long way, with patience and determination. Stick to serving healthy foods, eat them yourself and eventually your toddler will get on board too.

Proper Portions for Preschoolers

One of the biggest problems most of us have with developing healthy eating habits is that we have no idea of what a proper portion size should look like. Accustomed to the huge portions served by restaurants, we have all developed a skewed view of how much food we should be eating on a daily basis. This problem often carries over into how we feed our children. Many kids are eating much larger portions than they should be of certain foods, while other foods aren’t served in large enough portions or at all.

Learning the proper portion sizes for your preschooler will help you to keep her healthy and avoid obesity. This applies to beverages as well as food; in fact, beverages are a common culprit for super-sized portions.

How Much Should a Preschooler be Drinking?

The two main beverages, aside from water, that the average preschooler drinks are milk and juice. While these may both sounds like healthy choices, too much of either one isn’t good for a little body.

It may surprise you to know that a preschooler only requires two cups – that’s sixteen ounces – of milk in a day. If you serve it in an 8 oz cup, that means only two servings a day. Too much milk can fill your child up, causing them to miss out on nutritious foods, and can also lead to anemia. If your child likes milk more often, offer a smaller serving size of 4-6 ounces so that she can have 3-4 servings in a day.

A serving of juice for a preschooler should be no larger than 6 ounces, and juice should only be served once a day. Serve only 100% juice, and avoid juice drinks that are full of sugar. There is no appropriate serving size for sugary drinks like soda, and your child should avoid them as much as possible,

Portion Sizes for Food

Remember that your preschooler doesn’t have a very big stomach, and doesn’t need portions the same size as you might consume. Realistic portion sizes for young children are much smaller than many parents believe.

To get the recommended 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables, serve about ¼ cup of cooked or raw veggies, or ½ of a whole fruit. For canned fruits, a serving size is similar to cooked vegetables at about ¼ of a cup. That serving of juice does count as a portion of fruit, but it should only be one of the servings each day.

A proper portion size for a serving of protein is about 1 ounce of cooked lean meat, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, or ½ cup of cooked beans. When it comes to dairy products, a portion includes about ½ cup of milk, ½ cup of yogurt, or ¾ ounce of cheese. Finally, a proper portion of grains for a preschooler is ½ slice of bread, ¼ cup of cooked cereal, rice or pasta, or about 4 crackers.

If you want your preschooler to be able to eat everything on his plate, make sure you are serving him portion sizes he can handle. The most commonly over-sized foods are meats and grains, so as a general rule try to make sure the vegetables take up more room on the plate than foods like pasta or rice. If need be, measure the portion sizes until you get better at eyeing how much is enough – and how much is too much.

Providing Enough Nutrition for your Toddler

When your toddler graduates from breast milk or formula to cow’s milk, she is no longer getting all the nutrition she needs in liquid form. Cow’s milk can’t replace all of the nutrients that were being provided by the breast milk or formula, so you will need to make certain that your toddler gets everything she needs from her food.

The key to good nutrition for your toddler is to make sure she eats a balanced toddler diet that offers a variety of foods. Different foods provide different nutrients, so the more variety in her diet, the better and more complete her nutrition will be.

Expanding Food Horizons

In the early stages of toddlerhood, before your little one decides to start getting picky about food, you should start offering as many different foods as you can, to introduce many new flavors. Spend some time in the produce department or at a local farmer’s market. Ask questions about fruits and vegetables you don’t recognize. They might turn out to be something you toddler loves, and could replace the nutrition missing from foods she refuses to eat.

Your toddler won’t eat everything you put in front of her, but the more different foods you offer, the more likely she will be to find something she likes. Every child, and even every adult, has some foods they simply don’t like and never will. Rather than forcing your child to eat something she really dislikes, try to find other foods that offer similar nutritional value to make up the difference.

Feed a Balanced Toddler Diet

The best way to make sure your toddler is getting all the nutrients she needs in her diet is to serve the right number of servings from each of the food groups. Aim for 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 servings of protein, 4 servings of dairy, and 3-4 servings of grains every day.

Spread all of these servings out over 3 meals and 2 snacks during the day, so that your toddler is only faced with a few foods at a time. The snacks are especially important as snack time is often when less than nutritious foods tend to hit the table. Make sure that every meal and every snack offers servings of nutritious foods, and skip empty calories that might fill your toddler up and cause him to skip out on healthier foods.

Using Supplements

If your toddler is getting the right number of servings from each food group every day, and eating a variety of different foods on a regular basis, it’s likely he is getting the right nutrition. Still, many pediatricians recommend a multivitamin supplement that can help to fill in any nutritional gaps in your child’s diet. Supplements are meant only to back up the foods your toddler eats, and shouldn’t be relied upon to provide all or most of the needed nutrients. Don’t skip servings of vegetables on the belief that the supplement will make up the difference.

Because toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, supplements are generally a good idea for those times when you just can’t get him to eat right. Think of them as a backup line of defense to keep your toddler healthy – but only a backup. No matter how difficult it might be, you should keep trying to get all the needed foods into your toddler’s diet every day.

Healthy Bag Lunches for Preschoolers

The best way to make sure your preschooler is getting a healthy, balanced lunch is to pack a homemade bag lunch. For busy moms on the go, it can be difficult to come up with fast and nutritious foods to fill a lunchbox or brown bag every day, but it can be done if you just plan ahead! Pack your child’s lunch the night before, and have it ready to go for morning. It will be one less thing off your to-do list during the morning craze.

Looking for some great ideas for a healthy lunch? Try some of these quick, nutritious options that will keep your preschooler full of energy and on a healthy eating track.

Sandwiches Reinvented

The sandwich standards can get a little repetitive, and aren’t always the healthiest either. But don’t toss sandwiches out – they are a convenient lunch than can easily be packed with delicious and nutritious fillings.

A good sandwich starts with good bread. Ditch the white bread and choose a whole grain option instead. If your child hasn’t had whole grain bread before, start with a smoother option that doesn’t contain whole seeds or pieces of grain. The fresher the better – unless you are toasting the bread, which won’t work well for a sandwich that isn’t being eaten right away, soft fresh bread is best. As an alternative, try a tortilla or pita to fill instead of using slices of bread. It will break up the monotony and come along with some fun new filling ideas.

A little tired of the old peanut butter and jam routine? Take a cue from Elvis and swap the jam for slices of banana. Toss them in a little lemon juice first to prevent browning, and then layer thin slices in between peanut butter coated bread. Or mix things up even more by trying almond butter as an alternative. Check with your child’s preschool before sending any nut-based food, however, as some have bans due to allergies.

Most kids like ham & cheese – but not every day. Offer different types of cheese and deli meats for new tastes. Don’t forget fresh lettuce and tomatoes, but package them separately to avoid sogginess. Nobody likes a soggy sandwich!

Quick and Healthy Sides

Fruits and vegetables make a perfect addition to your preschooler’s lunch. Whole or sliced apples, berries and bananas are all great choices. Add a yogurt dip to make them extra fun and tasty. Chopped fresh veggies with a little ranch for dipping are also a perfect choice. Throw in an applesauce cup if you don’t have time for cutting up fresh fruit.

Another great choice to add to the sandwich is a little baggie of trail mix made at home. Mix together raisins and other dried fruit with nuts (again, check regulations) and whole grain dry cereals for a crunchy treat that is full of great nutrition. Make up a big batch and keep servings ready to go.

Healthy Drinks

When packing a beverage for your child, it’s ok to choose a juice box – just make sure your selection is 100% juice, and choose the smaller juice boxes that are intended for younger kids, so that they avoid drinking too much. A preschooler should stay under 6 ounces of a juice for the day, so one juice box will probably be it.

To make a fun drink that doesn’t have as much sugar, mix a little fruit juice with sparkling water in a bottle with a tightly fitting lid. It’s a perfect alternative to soda and prevents your child from overloading on juice.

A healthy, delicious bag lunch is not too hard to achieve. In fact, making these great lunches for your preschooler might inspire you to bring your own lunch to work too!

A Balanced Diet for Toddlers

The toddler years are when balanced nutrition becomes vital to your child’s health. Now that breast milk or formula is no longer providing everything your little one needs to grow, food must provide all the necessary nutrients. This can be especially difficult when your toddler becomes a picky eater and refuses many of the healthy foods you offer.

The basics of a balanced toddler diet are a few simple concepts: variety, portion sizes, and number of servings. Provide the right number of servings of each food group, in the appropriate portion sizes, and mix it up with a variety of options to find the foods your toddler will want to eat.

Servings and Portions

A basic knowledge of what your toddler needs to eat, and how much, makes it a lot easier to ensure a balanced diet. Most of us know what the four food groups are: fruits and vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy. Many parents, however, have no real idea how much of each of these foods a toddler should eat every day.

Every day, your toddler should be consuming somewhere between 1000-1400 calories depending on age and activity level. That really is a lot less than many parents believe. Toddlers have small stomachs, and portion sizes should be much smaller than those an adult could consume.

Serve your toddler approximately one cup of fruits and one cup of vegetables throughout the day, adding another ½ cup of each for older toddlers. An appropriate portion size for these foods is about ¼ to ½ cup, or half of a fresh fruit like a banana. This means you are aiming to get about 5-9 servings each day of fruits and vegetables. Some servings may be larger than others due to how filling the food is, so it may be a lower number of servings or a higher number depending on the day.

Aim to get your toddler to eat about 3 ounces of whole grain foods every day. One slice of bread is about one ounce, but a standard serving for a toddler is only half of a slice, so an entire slice comprises two servings of grains. ½ cup of cooked cereal, rice or pasta is also one ounce, but is actually two servings for a toddler. Thus the 3 ounces will actually add up to anywhere from 6-9 servings per day, and you can add another ounce or two for an older toddler.

For intake of protein, remember that your child really doesn’t need that much. A toddler should eat about 2 ounces of lean proteins every day, which is about 2-3 servings of meats, eggs, and beans.

Finally, diary products should be about 2 cups worth every day. Thus if your toddler drinks 2 cups of milk in a day, you have already met the requirements.

Variety is the Key

Mix it up and offer your child different options from each of the food groups every day, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables where there are plenty of available choices. Trying different foods will not only offer a wide variety of nutrients, but will also allow your toddler more choices and more chances to like the foods that are offered.

Choosing a wide variety of options to meet your toddler’s daily needs also opens up the door to different styles of cuisine and new flavors, to keep expanding your child’s culinary horizons. The earlier you introduce new foods, the more open your child will be to different food experiences later in life.

How to Teach Healthy Eating Habits

Just putting healthy foods in front of your child isn’t necessarily enough to really instill healthy eating habits for a lifetime. One of the biggest problems in teaching your child how to eat right for good health is that we as parents don’t always practice what we preach. The best way to teach healthy eating habits is to demonstrate them.

Kids are Watching

You may think that your older baby or toddler doesn’t notice what you eat, but you are very wrong. From the time your baby becomes aware of what is going on at the table and wants to be a part of it, you are the example being set for everything from how to use a fork to how to chew with your mouth closed.

As your baby grows, he will notice more and more what you are eating and how it differs from what he is being served. If you have ever had a baby reach for what was on your plate while ignoring the food on his own, then you know that babies just want to try what everyone else is having. It should be obvious, therefore, that your baby will notice if there are no greens on your plate or if you are not eating your carrots.

Do as I say, Not as I do

Many parents believe that it should be enough to simply tell a child that they need to eat what is put in front of them. While it’s a good goal to expect your children to respect your wishes, with food, it’s unlikely to work.

Children learn early on that one of the few things they can control in their world is food. They can refuse to eat it, and there is very little you can do about it. You can’t order a baby or toddler to eat something they really don’t want to. And if you aren’t eating it either, that’s another strike against the disliked food.

Passing Down Good Habits

Even if you do eat your veggies, your baby might be slow to decide she wants to give it a try. But even if it takes time, seeing you eat a healthy baby food diet every day will give her the impression that this is the way everyone eats. The rules aren’t just for her, but for the entire family. Starting this habit from day one with your oldest child will help it to trickle down to the rest of the children to follow. Your baby will be modeling not only your behavior, but that of any older siblings. If you have successfully instilled good eating habits in the older children, it will make it easier to convince the next child.

The best way for your baby to always see that you are eating the same healthy diet you are offering her is to make sure that the family sits down to eat a meal together regularly. This will allow baby to feel that her meals are a part of everyone else’s meals. Family dinners are also a great opportunity to spend time together as a family, and when sitting down to eat together becomes a pleasant habit, so will eating healthy foods together.

Teaching healthy eating habits doesn’t happen overnight. Every child will go through picky eating phases, but the best thing you can do is to hold firm and ride it out. As long as your child sees that you are eating right, eventually some of the lesson will sink in.

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