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ng Healthy Eati







A parents guide to making healthy choices for their growing children! I mpl emen t in g H e a l t h y E ati n g hildren can be very picky eaters and implementing healthy eating in your child’s life can be very difficult. As parents, you want to provide the best lifestyle for your children, and being healthy eaters and physically active will better your child’s lifestyle, and provide better physical, cognitive, and emotional development for your child.


This newsletter will outline how you as a parent can provide healthier meals for your child and make them excited about healthy eating! Sometimes just changing their food around into something creative can make their food that much more exciting. By

packing healthy lunches, and implementing healthy eating in your household, your child will be well on their way to being life long healthy eaters. Nutrition greatly affects your child's growth and development, and as teachers we want your children happy, healthy, and ready to learn! With help from both teachers and parents, your child can have a very successful education.



s a e d I nack

Monday Celery Sticks! Put a little pit of peanut butter on a celery stick with raisins on top for ants on a log!

Tuesday A “Bearific” Breakfast Make your toast look like a bear with bananas for ears and a nose and blueberries for eyes!

Wednesday Homemade Sweet Potato Fries Cut sweet potatoes in thin strips, bake in the oven with light oil, serve with Greek yogurt to dip!

Thursday Baked Apple Cut apple wedges and place in a baking tray. Dust with cinnamon to flavor. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Friday Greek Yogurt Serve low fat greek yogurt with a homemade puree of your favorite fruit to add some great flavor! Try blueberries or mangos for some colorful fun!

Why Eat Healthy? Why Stay Fit? esearch shows that as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, adequate vegetable intake has the potential to prevent your child from becoming obese and prevention for chronic disease. By starting your children eating healthy at a young age, it creates positive health behaviors that will stay with them for a lifetime. Your children also reflect your choices and actions, so by creating healthy eating habits within your whole family, can really benefit your children. Don’t make healthy eating a chore, but rather an activity. The home environment shapes the health habits and decisions of young children.


Physical Activity: Because obesity is a growing risk factor in young children and adolescents, healthy eating is important, as well as physical activity. Children aged 6-17 should be getting a minimum of 60 minutes of aerobic activity daily. The benefits of physical activity include, lower blood pressure, maintained weight, decreased risk of diabetes, and other health problems.

Picky eaters can make food time stress time. These types of eaters have strong food preferences and rarely like to try something new. By making their food fun and creative, it allows children to focus on the ‘fun’ aspect of food and less on the ‘health’ aspect.

By having kids get involved in the kitchen, they can feel pride that they get to help make their meals. They will be more willing to eat something that they have contributed to.

A Well Balanced Plate Guide: The way you plate your child’s dinner is very important to growth and development. By having different sections of food, it exposes your child to variety and healthy options. Using “Right Sized Portion Plates” teach children and adults how much food of each food group should be on their plate. Portion size is very difficult to visualize, so this colorful plate is a very useful idea, while also teaching children the importance of healthy eating and portioning in their diet. A great portioned plate for children ideally looks like the pictures on the right. It is ideal to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. One quarter starch and another quarter meat/protein. By having these guidelines, it allows children not to over indulge and eat more consciously.

Understanding Children’s Learning About Foods-“Mom I want butter and pasta!” ood selection and nutritious meals are important to children’s growth and development. Younger children perceive food much different then adults do. They need to decide what foods they may want to eat. Younger children prefer sweet tastes over sour substances, so providing your children with foods that are naturally sweetened are much healthier then artificially colored and flavored foods.


Children start evolving at a very young age. By providing your children a variety of foods that are healthy, children get to explore different tasting foods, while not being exposed to the sweets and less healthy foods.

Children use social information to guide their eating. Infants observe the people in their surroundings to guide their eating. This is where cultural eating comes into play, but also unhealthy eating. As role models, it is important as parents to assist our children in making healthy food choices. If we grab a bag of chips and fruit for them, they are more likely to reject this decision. Social influences guide children’s eating habits. Children are very observant at a young age, thus we must influence our children in a positive and healthy manner.

Roc ke t Shi p to H e alt hy Eat i ng

R e c ip e : What You Need: Bread

“The secret to a healthy family is a good meal made with love and smiles. Helping hands are always welcome in my kitchen!” Kaitlin Brunetti Writer for “Healthy Eating, Healthy Living”

(Whole Wheat or Sm

art Bread)

Cheese Meat Peppers A simple sandwich th at is healthy for your family can be a crowd pleaser just by makin g it into fun

shapes. Invest in som e cookie cutters and cut your sandwich and arrange into any shap e you like!

Environmental Influences and Nutrition iet is the most important environmental influence on human growth and development. Children who are malnourished grow slowly and have a more difficult time in school. The saying “food is brain power” is quite accurate. When children have low nutrition at a young age, it makes it difficult for them to catch up. Malnutrition drastically affects the growth of your child, so by providing your child with healthy and nutritious foods, you are supporting their growth.


Along with nutrition, you want to make sure your child receives a good amount of protein and calories (healthy ones). Your child should be openly involved in food selection (instead of forcing them to eat a particular food) and at most, get your child to at least try it. If they do not like a particular food - it was at least worth the effort! Attempts at trying a particular food should also occur more then once. On Monday he/ she may hate it and on Friday they may love it! As long as you are trying new things and avoiding the pasta with

HINT: try adding yogurt (Greek or regular) to fruit as a dip instead of the typical chocolate or caramel.

Make school lunches fun and entertaining. If you don’t want your child trading their lunches around, make it together so they can feel proud about what they are eating. butter routine daily, they should live a happy, healthy lifestyle. If your child is EXTREMELY picky, and does not seem to grow out of it, it means that your child has strong likes and dislikes, and not willing to accept new foods. By working together with your child, find

As parents, you want whats best for your child, and a healthy diet and regular exercise is a great place to start. Make cooking meals in the kitchen and walking the dog a regular activity in your household. I am sure you won’t regret it. Look out for next months issue of Healthy Eating, Healthy Living in your son or daughters school!

a few foods that are from different food groups and use a rotational system at meal time. If all else fails, disguising works best! If they love mashed potatoes, try hiding some round up cauliflower or cheese in there for an extra health benefit.

Healthy Eating, Healthy Living  

Final project for Developmental Psychology

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