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Family Nutrition

Help Your Family Eat

Try these ten tips for getting your kids (plus your spouse and yourself) to eat healthier foods every day – and like it!

1. Get a head start on 5 a Day.The goal of five fruits and veggies a day can start at breakfast. Just add an apple, banana or berries to the morning cereal or yogurt routine.

2. Head out the door with 1 of 5.Hand them fruit, carrots or celery to eat while waiting for the bus. And don’t forget to take your own portion of fruits or veggies for your commute.

3. Keep healthy snacks within easy reach.Cut up raw veggies and put them in a container or bag in the frig and do the same with fruit. Be sure the first thing you see when you walk into the kitchen is fruit and veggies, not bags of salty snacks.

4. Use low-fat dips to add zing to raw fruits and vegetables. Keep apple sauce, yogurt, cottage cheese, cinnamon and chili powder on hand to add interest to the good stuff.

5. Let them cook. Children who help make a meal are more willing to eat the food. Let them design fruit and vegetable trays for the table and encourage everyone to share them as an appetizer and dessert.

6. Change it up. Most of us will try anything once, and if you provide enough new opportunities, you’re sure to fine a hit.

7. Make it their way. If they’ve tried it cooked and didn’t like it, see if they like it raw – and vice versa. Remember, don’t cook veggies to mush; that’s the texture most kids completely object to.

8. Go slowly. Serve new foods one at a time, making sure there are other foods on the plate that they DO like.

9. Give them desserts. Just not high-fat or super-caloric ones. Top fresh berries with yogurt and you’ve got a parfait; make a fun plate of dried fruits or serve crunchy air-popped corn instead of cookies.

10. Be a leader. Set a good example with your own healthy habits and your child is more likely to follow suit.

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