Model healthy eating for your children:

  • Eat meals and snacks with your children
  • Sit down at the table and enjoy food without distractions. (TURN THE TV OFF DURING MEALS/SNACKS)
  • Choose healthy foods for yourself.

Help your child learn to listen to his body’s cues:

  • Offer 3 meals and 2 to 3 snacks each day.
    • 2 to 3 hours between each meal or snack.
    • No food, or beverages except WATER between meals and snacks!!! (Juices, milk or other flavored beverages will dull the appetite for regular meals and snacks)
  • YOU decide what food to serve, and where and when it will be served. YOUR CHILD decides IF and HOW MUCH she will eat.
    • If she does not want to eat her snack or meal, OK, but wait until the next planned meal or snack to offer more food.
    • As long as your child is at the table, allow her to eat as much as she wants of the foods served.
    • Once she gets down, her meal/snack is over.

Keep on offering those foods your child refuses to eat:

  • Children are suspicious of new foods.  It takes many exposures to new food before some children will even taste it.
  • If you eat a food, eventually your child will eat it (it may take years of having that food on the table).


Make meals enjoyable:

  • Talk to your children about their day and tell them about yours.
    • Ask if anyone saw or heard anything unusual that day.
  • Teach your child table manners—
    • Chew with mouth closed;
    • Do not talk with food in mouth;
    • Use napkin;
    • Say please and thank you;
    • Ask to be excused if he wants to get down before everyone is done…….
    • Expect him to use manners at home!!! (Then you can be sure he will when he’s out).
  • Make sure your child knows the rules and the consequences for breaking them.
    • For example:  the third time he has to be asked to stop an unacceptable behavior, he will be removed from the table

Let your child help you prepare meals and snacks. Your child is more likely to eat something he helped make.

  • A two year old can help by dumping the spoonful of spices or cup of chopped vegetables into a mixing bowl…….
  • A three year old can tear lettuce for a salad………..
  • A seven year old can make a sandwich and put her lunch together.
  • A 9 year old can cook simple meals, with supervision
  • An 11 or 12 year old can make dinner (give her one night per week to plan dinner, prepare it, and clean up).