Encourage Healthy Eating Habits
31-03-2016
Children seemed biologically programmed to pick exactly those things which are bad for them. But in a day and age when obesity is rampant, making healthy food choices and encouraging your children to think the same, will promote overall good health. Here's how you can encourage healthy eating habits in children.

Teach Healthy Eating Habits Early.
Use meal and snack times as moments to teach children the importance of making healthy food choices, and how it can be done.

Get Them Involved. Go Straight to the Source.
Involve your children in the process of planning and making healthy food choices. If they feel involved, they are more likely to aspire to eat better. Further, rather than limiting yourself to a supermarket to obtain your groceries, take them along to a local farmers market. Let your children talk to the people who grow the food, and show them where it's sourced from. You can take it one step further and have go at making your own little garden of herbs and veggies; this will encourage your child not to think of healthy eating in a negative manner, but be enthused to give it a go!

Make Healthy Snacks Available.
If you stock your fridge with junk food and sweet treats, that's what your child will always look for and gravitate towards. But if you clean out your cupboards and fridge and stock it exclusively with nutritious food, you will leave a subtle and lasting impression. So instead of them grabbing for the fizzy drinks, they will reach for the carrot sticks and fruit smoothies instead.

Be a Role Model.
A recent study found that young children's food tastes are linked directly to that of their parents. Letting your child see you order a fresh salad rather a burger and fries at the drive-through may encourage them to practice healthy eating habits as well.
Ages
2 to 3
Calories
1,000-1,400, depending on growth and activity level
Protein
2-4 ounces
Fruits
1-1.5 cups
Vegetables
1-1.5 cups
Grains
3-5 ounces
Dairy
2-2.5 cups
Ages
4 to 8
Calories
1,200-2,000, depending on growth and activity level
Protein
3-5.5 ounces
Fruits
1-2 cups
Vegetables
1.5-2.5 cups
Grains
4-6 ounces
Dairy
2.5-3 cups
Ages
4 to 8
Calories
1,200-1,800, depending on growth and activity level
Protein
3-5 ounces
Fruits
1-1.5 cups
Vegetables
1.5-2.5 cups
Grains
4-6 ounces
Dairy
2.5-3 cups
Ages
9 to 13
Calories
1,600-2,600, depending on growth and activity level
Protein
5-6.5 ounces
Fruits
1.5-2 cups
Vegetables
2-3.5 cups
Grains
5-9 ounces
Dairy
3 cups
Ages
9 to 13
Calories
1,400-2,200, depending on growth and activity level
Protein
4-6 ounces
Fruits
1.5-2 cups
Vegetables
1.5-3 cups
Grains
5-7 ounces
Dairy
2.5-3 cups
Ages
14 to 18
Calories
2,000-3,200, depending on growth and activity level
Protein
5.5-7 ounces
Fruits
2-2.5 cups
Vegetables
2.5-4 cups
Grains
6-10 ounces
Dairy
3 cups
Ages
14 to 18
Calories
1,800-2,400, depending on growth and activity level
Protein
5-6.5 ounces
Fruits
1.5-2 cups
Vegetables
2.5-3 cups
Grains
6-8 ounces
Dairy
3 cups