As a caregiver, you are a role model for your child in developing food preferences. As they get older, continue to encourage healthy food choices. Encourage your child to eat a variety of fruits and vegetable, whole grains, dairy products (like milk and yogurt), and protein foods (like beans, chicken, nuts, and eggs). Here are a few ways you can help your pre-teen eat a healthy diet throughout the day!
- Start with a breakfast that will fuel the day ahead. This could include whole grain toast with a nut butter and a banana or oatmeal and blueberries.
- Encourage your child to eat a variety of colors. Having a sandwich for lunch? Pile on the veggies or have baby carrots and celery as a side dish. Encourage your child to eat the fruits and veggies offered at school.
- Enjoy this time as a family. Throw a blanket on the floor for an indoor picnic or gather around your family table.
- Have your child drink water first when thirsty. Offer milk at meals or snacks. Talk to them about avoiding sodas, caffeine beverages, and other beverages with added sugars.
- Hungry after school? A low fat cheese-stick and orange slices are a quick and healthy snack for your child.
- Small changes can make a big difference! Swap out a sugar - filled beverage for water or shift to a whole grain bread. Start with small changes.
- Your preteen can help in the kitchen. Find those activities that are safe for your child to help with and feel involved in their meals.
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