Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/19/2021 --March is National Nutrition Month, and a great opportunity to have fun while teaching children healthy eating habits.
They key is to give kids lots of choices, said Sara Fausett, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Intermountain Healthcare.
"Choices are key for kids to feel empowered while trying new foods," Fausett said. "Children are essentially a clean slate, and what you serve them becomes normal. Often, they will surprise you by making healthier food choices than adults when given the opportunity."
Here's how to help kids eat a variety of nutritious foods each day:
Eat the rainbow. Buy and serve fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of colors for kids to choose from.
Start a grocery-store challenge. Let your children choose one new fruit or vegetable each week for everyone to try. Let them decide how to serve the item. An avocado, for example, can be sliced, diced or mashed, for example.
Offer choices within a single meal. If you're making fajitas, for example, let children choose whether you're having chicken or steak fajitas, and whether to use red or yellow peppers.
Use the My Plate method. This gives kids some control over what they're eating, as well as structure in making choices. Offer a variety of proteins, carbohydrates, and produce. Let them choose which fruits and veggies to put on half their plate, and divide the remaining half plate between carbs and protein.
Be adventurous – especially with the youngest children. Try spinach baby food, or steamed broccoli for toddlers. Even try a new twist on old favorites, like Banana Pancakes.
"Remember, the key to creating healthy habits is to keep trying until you find what you like," Fausett said. "With kids, the trying part can be the most fun."
For more information, go to www.intermountainhealthcare.org or see LiVe Well recipes here.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs. For more information, see Intermountain Healthcare or the Intermountain Healthcare Blog.