Encouraging healthy eating requires a multilevel approach. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and raising a child to make healthy choices is no different. Healthy eating habits are formed with the support of family, schools and communities. Just as Cincinnati Public Schools is committed to improving the nutritional content of school meals, and Children's Hospital is dedicated to decreasing the prevalence of childhood obesity, it is also important to encourage healthy eating at home.
Unhealthy eating habits may facilitate the development of obesity over time. Being overweight or obese early in life increases the risk of developing serious chronic disease such as Hypertension (or high blood pressure), Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol, and even cardiovascular disease.
As you can see, it is important to encourage your child to eat a healthier diet. How you might ask? This section is an introduction to encouraging healthy eating by becoming a food role model, helping to combat food peer pressure at school, and of course, the daily recommendations for all age groups, as well as how to meet those.
Be a Role Model
Research has shown that parental influence has an effect on children’s healthy eating habits. In a study where children were asked who is most effective in encouraging healthy eating habits out of parents, peers, teachers, and government, parents were rated the most effective.
ChooseMyPlate.gov has provided ten excellent ways you can be a role model to encourage healthy eating.
Be a healthy role model for children:
Food Peer Pressure
Becoming a food role model is one of the most effective ways to encourage eating habits. Here are some helpful tips to make sure your child is consuming an overall healthy diet.
Daily Intake Recommendations
How much should my child be eating?
What counts as a serving?
What are examples of a serving?
These are all questions that might arise when trying to pack a well balanced lunch.
More information on daily requirements for each food group separated by age and gender, what counts as a serving, and a few examples of each serving.