Growing healthy eaters – Join the club
The Two Bite Club helps parents of preschoolers learn about healthy eating.
March 13, 2013 - Author: Eileen Haraminac, Michigan State University Extension
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just introduced a new book for parents of preschoolers. Recommended by Michigan State University Extension, “The Two Bite Club” is an educational book that will help parents and their children learn about My Plate. This can assist parents and caregivers to help their children learn to make healthy food choices.
Following these tips may help your child’s acceptance of foods:
- Copy-cats: Kids copy what they see and hear, so let them see you choose new foods, be a great role model! Let them see you eating a variety of foods in a variety of ways.
- Pick it out and prepare it: Children will love the adventure of shopping and choosing a new food, especially if they can be involved in preparing it.
- Two bites: Encourage children to try new foods, however, do not push them. Sometimes kids need to try out different taste and textures of food before it is accepted. Gently try positive reinforcement, providing a positive message.
- Eat meals together as a family, as often as possible: Try to make mealtime pleasant with conversation and sharing about the day. Have the family come together to share in the simple tasks of setting the table and when age appropriate, other food prep tasks.
- Plan for snacks: Snacks can help to incorporate a variety of foods to complete a healthy diet. Offer snacks at least two to three hours before meals, keep them small.
- Let’s Move: Children should be physically active at least 60 minutes each day. Limit screen time and media use (this includes watching TV, movies, playing video games, and computer time). The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourages media use for children 2-years-old or younger. For older children, the Academy advises no more than one to two hours per-day of educational, nonviolent programs, which should be supervised by parents or other responsible adults in the home. For more specific information on food and nutrition for you and your family, go to www.choosemyplate.gov/preschoolers.html.