Help your child develop healthy habits early in life that will bring lifelong benefits. As parents, we can encourage your kids to evaluate their food choice and physical activity habits. Here are seven top tips to get you - and your preschooler - started.
1. Be a healthy role model
Be a good role model by eating regular meals based on nutrient-rich foods, such as low-fat or fat-free dairy products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
2. Enjoy family meals
Establish routines around mealtimes and snacks. Be sure to allow children enough time at the table aim for 20 minutes.
3. Try new foods
You may have to offer a food 10–15 times before it’s accepted. Try to add just one new food to a meal with three or so healthy foods your child already enjoys.
4. Trust your preschoolers stomach
Watch for signals that your child is full and finished eating (playing with food, for example). Offer children nutritious food, and they will naturally regulate the amount they eat.
5. Divide responsibility
You determine what foods are served and when. Your child should decide which and how much of those healthy foods offered he or she will eat.
6. Eat snacks
Regularly scheduled healthy snacks are like “mini-meals.” Snacks can provide up to a quarter of the nutrients children need each day, as well as enough calories (energy) to sustain them through a busy day of school and/or play.
7. Healthy eating and physical activity go hand-in-hand
Children should be active at play for at least one to two hours each day. Consider options like a simple outing to the park to play or more organised classes or age appropriate sports.