Spring Into Healthy Eating Habits

From this month’s Parents’ Pages:

As a parent, you support your child’s nutritional needs by encouraging healthy eating habits and food choices. Healthy and balanced meals are vital for a child’s growth and development.

Careful meal planning and offering healthy snack options are ways to foster good eating habits with your child. Young children learn through observation and develop healthy habits when you are mindful of the foods you buy and prepare. Children benefit from healthy food choices that develop into lifelong habits.

Make Time for Family Mealtime

Make informed choices for mealtime by planning your meals in advance. Balancing a weekly schedule while parenting can be challenging. Planning meals in advance can make mealtime easier while providing more time to spend with family.

  • Involve your child in planning and preparing meals and snacks.
  • Offer a variety of food options for your child to select, when possible, to support your child’s interests and likes.
  • Plan meals with a variety of healthy foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and meats.
  • Serve your child milk or water at meals.

Eating healthy means selecting foods from each food group with the least amount of sugar or fat content. One of the eight developmental domains outlined in Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards is Physical Development. Health and Wellbeing is a component of this domain that addresses feeding and nutrition. With your encouragement and support, your child will begin to demonstrate an increasing interest in nutritious food choices and healthy eating habits.

Stay Active and Healthy

The Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services provides food and nutrition resources for families.

Plan a fun family outing and enjoy creating lasting memories while spending time together by visiting a local U-pick farm. This is a great time to experience a local farm and walk, explore new foods and stay active. Being active is vital for a young child’s growth and development.

During a visit at a U-pick farm, you will have opportunities to learn about how fruits and vegetables grow and create meaningful memories by picking fresh locally grown items.

Farms are often open on a seasonal basis. Check with your local farm before making plans to visit.

Your child learns many new skills and concepts through experiences with children or adults. Always remember their most important teacher is you.