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Eating Well

We know lots about helping kids eat well -  that's what Kids Pantry is all about! And we'd love to help you do the same.

We are only too happy to assist parents make the right choices when it comes to food for their children.

We can help tempt fussy eaters and give you oodles of ideas for making healthy food fun and tasty.

Email us at hello@kidspantry.com.au to make a time for a chat.

 

Nutritional Workshops

Kids Pantry is going to be offering Nutritional Workshops on a wide range of topics, starting in 2017. Keep updated by joining our newsletter 

In the meantime, why not read up on some ways you can develop healthy eating habits in your child, with this fantastic information from the Healthy Kids Association.

Involve your children and teach them good habits

Parents are responsible for which foods to purchase and when to serve them, however some children will pester their parents for less nutritious foods. The important thing to remember is that children will never go hungry, they will always eat what's available in the cupboard and fridge. If their favorite food or snack isn't very nutritious, keep it for a treat or special occasion. Make sure there are nutritious snacks available and easily accessible.

Have a variety of good choices on offer, so that children can still have a say in what they eat.  This may seem like a little too much freedom for your children, but remember we are trying to teach them about healthy eating so offer your children a choice of healthy foods that you have prepared or bought.

Let your child stop eating when they feel they have eaten enough.  Some parents make children stay at the table until they have finished what is on their plate. This is not a good strategy, as it doesn’t teach children to listen to their own bodies and recognise when they feel full. When children notice and respond to feelings of fullness, they will be less likely to overeat.

Children develop food preferences early in life, so try to offer a variety of foods from a young age. Children start to form likes and dislikes even when they are babies. It is important to remember that when you are introducing a new food that it can take many attempts for a child to like the food.  Offer the food at least 10 times before you stop, however don't force your child to eat it, just offer a small portion or a few bites.  You can also try presenting it in fun ways or serving it with other food that they like.  Make sure you praise them for trying.

Talk to your children about food and the benefits of eating healthy. Involving them in the shopping, food preparation and cooking of family meals is another way of teaching them about healthy eating.  They can also be responsible for packing their own lunchboxes (set up a list of ‘allowables’ or a weekly menu).  For ideas have a look at our ‘What’s in your lunchbox’ DVD and fact sheets.

Be a role model

It is important that we set a good example when it comes to healthy eating particularly at snack time.  Children watch what we do and sometimes even try to copy us.  By being a good role model and leading by example we are teaching our children healthy habits.

Rewards and punishment

Try not to use food as a reward, for example “if you clean your room you can have a lollipop”.  This is because restricting a food makes it more desirable.  Rewarding for eating other foods, for example “eat your greens and you can have dessert” makes the greens less desirable and also makes them eat when they may not be hungry.  Also don’t restrict food as punishment.  There are other ways of rewarding children for good behaviour and managing misbehaviour.

Don’t forget about physical activity

It is also important to ensure your children include physical activity in their day. Children need to be active for at least an hour every day.

Reduce sedentary behaviours by setting up limits for time spent in front of TV, computers or video games.

Increase incidental exercise such as walking to school or the shops, sweeping the path or doing some gardening.

Be a role model and make physical activity a family event by going for a bush walk, playing family cricket, playing in the park or kicking a ball around.

Choose activities that your children like and encourage play that involves moving.

Also try to encourage independent play so that they can be active when you are not available.

Choose “active” presents such as balls or volleyball kits rather than sedentary presents such as DVD’s, play station games.

Reproduced with the kind permission of Healthy Kids Association.