NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and nearly one in five kids in the U.S. is obese.
Most parents know children can often go through phases where they won't eat certain foods or there is that one item they want to eat at every meal. The food preferences of these children are often not the most nutritious. As kids are returning back to school, time for exercise and healthy meal preparation can be reduced.
Pediatrician Dr. Patricia Granier of Ochsner Hospital for Children has these tips for building healthy habits. The eating habits of picky eaters may be hard to change at first. Remember:
- Get physical: Experts recommend kids get 60 minutes of moderate physical activity a week. Hiking, biking, swimming – even gardening – as a family are great ways to be sure your child gets enough exercise.
- Skip the sugary drinks: Encourage your kids to drink water rather than sugar-laden sodas, flavored juices or sports drinks.
- Keep your fridge healthy, too: Stock your kitchen with healthy snacks and drinks, such as nuts, fresh fruits and reduced-fat milk.
- Eat dinner as a family: Time spent together at the dinner table is an opportunity not only to eat more nutritiously but also to foster deeper connections.
- Be a role model: Set a good example for your kids by eating healthfully, being open to trying new foods and exercising regularly.
Following these tips will help transition your picky eater into being more health conscious. The sooner that parents begin implementing healthier foods into the diets of their picky eaters will prevent several health complications further down the road.