It is never to early to encourage your child to make healthy food choices and build a foundation that will last a lifetime. Making choices is something you teach and when it comes to food, it can be difficult to know how to get started. We wanted to offer you a few great tips to help you out:

1. Start early teaching the basics: Before your child can talk, start teaching the basics of healthy eating and making good choices. Start by talking about simple concepts such as:

  • Eating a variety of foods is best
  • Sugar, salt, and soda are not healthy food choices
  • Half your plate shoudl be fruits and vegetables
  • Water is the best drink to quench thirst

2. Weed out the junk food in your house: If your child can’t open the pantry or the refrigerator door today, chance are they will be able to in a few months. Keep junk foods to a minimum or just stop buying it altogether. If there are only healthy food choices in your home, it makes it easier for your child to acquire a taste for them.

3. Talk about the health benefits of foods they’re eating: Make eating healthy foods fun, not scientific. Offer fun tips like:

  • Broccoli makes your bones strong
  • Carrots make you see better
  • Avocados make you smarter
  • Pasta gives you lots of energy

4. Set Expectations: Make it clear to your child what you consider healthy food choices and health eating habits and stay true to them. For example, here are some expectations that are in place in our own households:

  • Eat fruits and veggies first at meals
  • Sugary treats and chips are eaten in moderation and not before meals
  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
  • You need to take at least one bite of a new food before you say you don’t like it.