The 10 Commandments of Healthy Eating for ParentsIt's As Simple as Counting to Ten
-- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian
- Thou shalt not force, bribe or coerce thy child to eat.
- Thou shalt set a good example by eating at least five fruits and vegetables, three whole grain products, and three dairy servings per day thyself.
- Thou shalt make mealtimes pleasant.
- Thou shalt encourage thy child to help in meal planning, preparation, and cleanup.
- Thou shalt back off when mealtime becomes a power struggle.
- Thou shalt accept food "binges" as phases that will eventually pass.
- Thou shalt accept the fact that thy child is an individual and thus will dislike certain foods (and there may be many!).
- Thou shalt not give up on introducing thy child to new foods. Thou shalt realize it sometimes takes ten tries to get a child to accept a food.
- Thou shalt use this division of responsibility for eating: As the parent, thou art responsible for deciding when and what to serve. Thy child is responsible for deciding how much (if any) will be eaten.
- Thou shalt give thy child a multivitamin-mineral supplement if he is a picky eater.
For more family nutrition tips, read "Make Family Mealtime More Pleasant".