|My nephew Hal (now an adult) eats his vegetables!|
You can visit her wonderful website here: Ellyn Satter Institute
While child nutrition is not my expertise, I have learned a few things over the years - particularly the years I worked at Head Start:
- Children do like healthful foods - but you as the parent or other responsible adult need to offer the children healthy foods and have them available. I will never forget hearing a child say "Who doesn't love a grape? I just wish my mom would buy them!".
- Adults need to model healthful eating. You can't expect kids to eat healthy if you don't - so be a good role model.
- Kids like to be involved in grocery shopping and food prep. Getting kids involved in the food prep process and trying a variety of foods at family meals can help kids learn to like healthful eating!
- Don't make foods off limits. When you tell a child that a food is bad and they shouldn't eat it, it only makes them want it more. We adults are the same way! So let your kids have candy and chips - but as part of an overall healthy eating pattern. Read Ellyn Satter's advice on how to handle "forbidden foods" with kids so that they don't feel deprived but also learn to eat healthy foods too!
We'll be talking about this topic more on Good Day Alabama so keep watching!
Beth Kitchin PhD RDN
Assistant Professor Nutrition Sciences
University of Alabama at Birmingham