Set a Healthy Example
Kids learn from watching adults. Kick off the new year eating healthy foods and your kids will too!
Model healthy eating habits for your kids:
- Let your children see you eat and enjoy many healthy foods.
- Be open to trying new foods with your kids.
- Practice portion control.
- Eat meals at regular times. Try not to skip meals.
- Turn the TV and video games off at mealtime. Silence your cell phones.
- Join children at the table for meals.
Parents and caregivers play an important role in nurturing healthy eaters. Help children learn to make healthy choices on their own using the tips below.
Let kids learn by serving themselves.
- Serve foods family style.
- Teach kids to take small amounts at first. Use smaller bowls and plates so they don’t take too much at once.
- Tell kids they can get more if they’re still hungry.
Be patient – it works better than pressure.
- Kids don’t always accept new foods right away. Offer them many times, and try serving them in different ways.
- When you offer children new foods, let them choose how much to eat. Kids are more likely to enjoy a food when eating it is their own choice.
Use encouraging words.
- As a caregiver, what you say has a big impact on kids’ eating habits.
- Gently guide kids to make healthy choices using positive words.
Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov to learn more about the importance of variety, amount, and nutrition of what we eat and drink.
The Cooking Matters campaign knows that kids need good food to grow up healthy. That’s why we’re here to help you learn to shop for and cook healthy, affordable meals for your entire family. For more information, including additional tips and recipes, visit co.cookingmatters.org.
The new Cooking Matters app for Android makes it simple to feed your family healthy foods, on any budget! Visit CookingMatters.org/app to plan meals with the touch of a button.
Exploring Food Together is a Cooking Matters toolkit of simple activities that adults can use to help kids learn about new foods and start building the skills to make healthy food choices.