Kids and food:
10 tips for parents
By April Speck, Coordinator,
Clinton County Healthy Hometown Coalition
GOOD NEWS! You do not have to have a degree in nutrition to raise healthy kids. Following some basic guidelines can help you encourage your kids to eat properly, maintain a healthy weight, and create healthy habits that will help ensure a productive lifestyle.
Here are 10 key rules by which one should live:
1. Parents control the supply lines. You decide which foods to buy and when to serve them. Though kids will pester their parents for less nutritious foods, adults should be in control when deciding which foods are regularly stocked in the house.
2. From the foods you offer, kids get to choose what they will eat or whether to eat at all. However, young people should have some input into the things on the menu. Parents need to schedule regular meal and snack times in order to establish a routine.
3. Quit the “clean-plate club.” Let kids stop eating when they feel they’ve had enough. Lots of parents grew up under the clean-plate rule, but that approach doesn’t help kids respond to their own bodies when they feel full.
4. Start creating habits when the children are young. Food preferences are developed early in life, so offer a variety of foods.
Likes and dislikes begin forming even when kids are babies. You may need to serve a new food on several different occasions for a child to accept it.
5. Rewrite the kids’ menu. Who says kids only want to eat hot dogs, pizza, burgers, and macaroni and cheese? When eating out, let your kids try new foods. They may surprise even you with their willingness to experiment.
6. Drink calories count. Soda and other sweetened drinks add extra calories and hinder the progress to good nutrition. Water and milk are the best drinks for kids. Juice is fine when it’s 100 percent natural, but kids don’t need much of it. Recommendations are four to six ounces a day for preschoolers.
7. Sweets have their place. Occasional sweets are fine, but don’t turn dessert into the main reason for eating dinner. When dessert is the prize for eating dinner, kids naturally place more value on the cupcake than the broccoli.
8. Food is not love. Find better ways to say “I love you.” When foods are used to reward kids and show affection, they may start using food to cope with stress or other emotions.
9. Kids do as you do. Be a role model and eat in a healthy manner yourself. When trying to teach good eating habits, try to set the best examples possible. Choose nutritious snacks, eat at the table, and don’t skip meals.
10. Limit TV and computer time. In this manner, you’ll avoid mindless snacking and encourage activity. Research has shown that kids who reduce TV-watching also reduce their percentage of body fat. When TV and computer time are limited, they’ll find more active things to do. In addition, limiting “screen time” allows more time to be active together.
Hometown Coalition Events
Run for the Roses
Healthy Hometown’s 5K Run for the Roses, 1K Family Fun Run/Walk, and Health Fair are scheduled for Saturday, May 3rd at Mountain View Park. Registration will begin at 8:30 am and the events starting at 9:00 am. Registration forms are available at all schools and at the Welcome Center. You may also obtain a registration form by emailing April Speck at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, the Clinton County News will provide registration forms in each of the issues two weeks prior to the event.
All of the funds raised will go toward new playground equipment for Mountain View Park. All Clinton County students will run or walk for free!! For more information contact April Speck at 606-387-2051 or email.
Volunteer youth walkers always needed
Healthy Hometown is always seeking youth volunteers to go walk at AES with elementary students between 7:20-7:45 am.
We are also seeking more youth volunteers to go to ECC every Tuesday during 2nd period intervention to facilitate Take 10!
Students who walk at AES or go to ECC will get volunteer hours that will count on college applications.
Coalition meeting is April 24
The Healthy Hometown Coalition will meet Thursday, April 24th 1:00 pm at Clinton County Board of Education with special guests.
For more information contact Healthy Hometown Coordinator, April Speck by calling 606-387-2051, or by email at: email@example.com
Healthy Hometown is working toward a “healthy” Clinton County.