The 10 Commandments of Healthy Eating for Parents

  1. Thou shalt not force, bribe or coerce thy child to eat.
  2. 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.
  3. Thou shalt make mealtimes pleasant.
  4. Thou shalt encourage thy child to help in meal planning, preparation, and cleanup.
  5. Thou shalt back off when mealtime becomes a power struggle.
  6. Thou shalt accept food "binges" as phases that will eventually pass.
  7. Thou shalt accept the fact that thy child is an individual and thus will dislike certain foods (and there may be many!).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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".
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Member Comments

thanks for sharing Report
Thanks Report
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Interesting statements. Report
thanks Report
fantastic Report
thanks Report
Good article. Report
Love the list! Report
I must say it was harder for me to follow any of these when my child was 2-5. I am better at it now. lol Report
great article Report
good info Report
Though shall NOT be dictated to by a child! Report
My younger brother and I were picky eaters. My mom circumvented this by giving my brother and I a small portion of a food we've never eaten, and told us that we have to try it once. If we didn't like it, she would eat the rest of it, but we had to at least take a bite of it. 9 times out 10 we ended up loving the food and wanted more of it (she regretted that decision after feeding us lobster). Now my brother and I will try anything! Hope that tactic works if/when I have kids :D Report


About The Author

Becky Hand
Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.