We have all heard the saying “Monkey see monkey do” – I use this saying quite often to explain the importance of teaching kids healthy eating at home.
Kids learn what healthy eating is at a young age and most often they learn what healthy eating is from their parents. It’s important for parents to show kids what healthy eating is by having regular meal times and having balanced meals throughout the day which include foods from Eating well with Canada’s Food guide.
I am frequently in schools and community centres throughout the city and teach kids about healthy eating and am glad to report kids are learning about healthy eating both in school and at home! From K-12 they are learning about Canada’s Food Guide and are quite knowledgeable about what healthy eating is.
Parents can try some of the following things to help encourage healthy eating habits at home:
- Most importantly, be a role model. Try new foods with the kids.
- Be creative. Cut fruits into fun shapes using cookie cutters.
- Add variety. Variety in food helps make sure that children get the vitamins and minerals they need.
- Involve children in grocery shopping and meal planning.
- Promote a healthy attitude towards eating and exercise.
Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.