12 Tips to Encourage Healthy Eating
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* Let kids feed themselves and make a mess.
* Roll it, dip it, dunk it. Toddlers are all about the sensory experience. Let them use their fingers to grab and touch, dipping carrots into yogurt, slices of chicken into applesauce, even chunks of fruit into hummus or peanut butter.
* Make food fun, not only by dressing up sandwiches with shapes and faces (and using cookie cutter shapes), but by mixing up the containers you serve them in. Try yogurt in an ice cream bowl (with a cone on top) or applesauce and pudding in muffin containers.
* Don't force your child to eat, and don't put too much on her plate. Ideally, she should eat a portion that's the size of her fist.
* Give gentle praise for good eating, but don't overdo it.
* Encourage kids to invite friends over. Children are more willing to try new foods their friends eat and also tend to talk more at dinnertime.
* Be a good role model. Children mimic your behavior - so don't forget your veggies!
Also see: How to Stop Mealtime Tantrums