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10 Tips to Create Healthier Eating Patterns for Your Kids & Teens

By May 1, 2016Blog, Blogs

Tip #1: Space Meals Throughout the Day.
Eat 3 meals each day. Skipping breakfast or lunch can cause cravings and overeating later in the day.
Tip #2: Balance Your Plate.
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Make a quarter of your plate grains, with at least half as whole grains. Keep protein to a quarter of your plate – choose seafood, beans, meat, poultry or eggs.
Tip #3: Slow Down While Eating.

It takes 15-20 minutes for your brain to tell your belly that you’ve had enough to eat. When slowing down, your kids will likely find themselves eating less, yet feeling satisfied and sustained for hours to come.
Tip #4: Serve Balanced Snacks in Between Meals.
A snack is a mini meal, designed to hold your kids over until the next meal. A balanced snack = protein + a fruit/grain and/or vegetables. Ex: handful almonds + 1 fruit or cheese + fruit or hummus + veggies
Tip #5: Pre-plan & Prepare Meals and Snacks.
This ensures that you can provide fresh and balanced meals and snacks during the day; and that you don’t have to rely on less nutritious, processed, “convenient” packaged snacks – like cheddar fish and chips.
Tip #6: Help your Child with Mindful Eating.
Why are your kids eating? Is it because they are physically hungry or because they are emotionally hungry? Many kids (and adults) eat out of boredom or stress. Helping your child learn to eat when they are physically hungry will cut down on mindless eating and eating out of habit.
Tip #7: Choose Fresh Fruit Over Juice.
Juice provides lots of sugar in liquid form; loses many vitamins through processing and guess what it’s missing? Fiber!
Tip #8: Limit Sugary Drinks.
Excess sugar can affect your child’s mood and energy, and increase their cravings without providing nutritional value. Sugary drinks include juice, lemonade, and soda. Instead provide water!
Tip #9: Buy Organic. When Possible Choose
Wild Caught, Grass Fed and Pasture Raised. This decreases the chemical load in the dairy, produce, starches/grains, proteins, fats and snack foods that you rely on to feed your family.
Tip #10: Incorporate More Whole Grains and Unprocessed Starches.
Examples include sweet potatoes, yams, butternut squash or spaghetti squash, quinoa and brown rice over highly processed pastas and breads containing less nutrients.
Shani Mara Breiter RDN, Leading Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Kids & Teens
To have a personalized, private nutrition session, call Shani at 310.684.3610