Ways to Help Your Child Develop Good Eating Habits

Summary: Our Hinsdale, IL digestive health doctors talk with parents about teaching kids how to make healthy food choices that benefit them in the long run.

A healthy appreciation for a balanced diet can offer a wealth of rewards to children of all ages. A focus on nutrition early in life can encourage kids to make good dietary choices as they grow and diminish the possibility of concerning medical issues later on. Furthermore, it may also boost how they feel at school, improve their ability to engage in extracurricular activities, and help them get better sleep.

Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates knows that a nutritious diet can markedly affect your child during their lifetime. Given that September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we have provided information to help parents find out more pertaining to dietary intake for kids, healthy foods for kids, and lunchbox suggestions for school-aged children. We invite you to read the following tips and reserve a consultation with one of our digestive health specialists in Hinsdale, IL for any questions you may have.

How to reinforce healthy nutrition for children

Our gastroenterologists offer the following tips to help motivate children to adopt good eating habits:

  • Involve your child in the food preparation and cooking process. This can offer the chance to talk with your child about how to select healthy foods and nutrition information while cooking or shopping. Such a situation can allow kids to appreciate healthy eating while also spending time as a family. Furthermore, by supporting this form of involvement, kids may not be as picky about eating when given the chance to learn more about the foods their parents choose.
  • Eat meals as a family as often as possible. While eating, foster positive conversation so your child does not develop a negative or stressful association with food. Stress eating can cause additional concerns over time.
  • Avoid treating food as a punishment or reward. If you put your child to sleep without having dinner to discipline them or use sweets as a reward for being good, it could affect your child's relationship with food over time.
  • Utilize portion sizes on food panels and read the ingredients. Talking with your little one about food ingredients and proper portions can help your child learn how these factors affect their health.
  • Set boundaries for snack times and the kinds of food your child eats. Snacks are an integral component of a healthy diet. It is good to designate a snack time and the selections of food your little one consumes. Additionally, discourage your child from snacking in front of the television, as doing so may cause overeating.

What healthy foods for children should your child's diet include?

Our Hinsdale, IL pediatric gastroenterologists suggest a balanced eating plan that includes fruits, veggies, protein, grains, and dairy. If possible, you should try and limit trans fat and sugar at meals and during snack time. By adhering to a nutrition plan that includes these ideal food groups, you can help your little one be more energetic and live a healthier life. For parents who like to plan, we have provided some of our favorite lunchbox food options for school-aged children. You can find those suggestions here:

How can I get additional resources about healthy diets for children?

Along with the information detailed here, our staff members wish to serve as a full-bodied resource for parents, so they can always locate current facts concerning healthy eating for kids. A number of the resources we recommend are as follows:

At Hinsdale Gastroenterology Associates, our professionals are focused on providing kids a healthy start in life. Our pediatric gastrointestinal doctors routinely team up with parents and caregivers to help establish and maintain a balanced nutritional foundation for their little ones. Get in touch with our Hinsdale, IL GI specialists to discover more about the positive effects of healthy diets or selecting appropriate snacks and meals for your children.