Set a Healthy Example

 In English

Kick off the new year on the right foot – starting with a healthy, balanced diet!

Our friends at Cooking Matters have come up with a few tips and resources parents and caregivers to help them motivate kids to eat more healthy in 2019! These simple and easy recommendations will go a long way in keeping kids excited about a healthy diet.

Kids learn from watching adults. Eat 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.

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.

Related Resources


Looking for healthy recipes your whole family can get excited about? Try these delicious recipes:

Turkey Tacos

Chicken Soup

Other Resources

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.

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