Here are some tips that can help…
Make Fruit And Vegetables Part Of Meals And Snacks
Many children like the sweet taste of fruit, so use this to your advantage by providing fruit as a snack or dessert instead of food with added sugar.
Veggies can be a harder sell for many children, but mild-tasting steamed vegetables, such as broccoli, can be a good choice.
Baby carrots or sliced peppers can also make a good snack option. You can dip it into hummus.
Think Outside The Box For Breakfast
Breakfast cereal is easy to prepare, but is actually a fairly highly processed food. Many cereals also have added sugar, which can add up to a surprisingly high calorie count per serving.
Think about eggs or yogurt as an alternative that is still relatively simple to prepare and clean up after in the morning.
Focus On Low-Fat Dairy
Milk, yogurt, and cheese have a place in a healthy diet, but moderation and low-fat choices are key. For example, Greek-style yogurt can be a much lower calorie alternative to sour cream.
Physical Activity Is Important
While recent research indicates that diet is the most important element in maintaining a healthy weight, physical activity also plays an important role. Try to make physical activity a fun family activity, rather than a chore. Play basketball or soccer together, or make a habit of going for a walk together after dinner.
Keep An Eye On Portion Size
Moderating food intake is probably the single most important factor in maintaining a healthy weight at any age. It is very easy to overestimate what is a healthy portion size and consequently underestimate how many calories are actually being consumed. To the extent you can, try to measure out portions accurately. Using smaller plates, bowls, and serving utensils can also help keep portion sizes healthy.
Andrea Berez, MS, RD, CSP
Nutrition Coaching Appointments