The ABCs of healthy eating for kids


Establishing healthy eating habits is an important part of keeping children well this summer and during the school year, but getting children to eat healthy food can be a challenge. Kaiser Permanente pediatrician Kim Newell, MD, offers these ABCs (and a D!) for kids’ nutrition:

A is for Adopting healthy habits yourself. Think about the healthy habits you want your children to have, and start keeping them yourself. It’s a great reason to eat more fruits and vegetables.

B is for Being creative. Studies show kids are more likely to eat vegetables if you give them fun names, such as calling tomatoes “moon squirters” or broccoli “little trees.” Parents can also get crafty by putting vegetables in unexpected places— pack pureed onions, zucchini and spinach into a turkey burger or add carrots, cucumbers, or cooked beets to a fruit smoothie.

C is for Cooking together. As kids get older, cooking and eating together can be a great way for adults or older siblings to model healthy eating habits.

D is for Doing your best to simplify. Food writer Michael Pollan puts it simply: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” When considering pre-made foods, look for a short list of real ingredients. Foods with more than five ingredients often have unhealthy chemicals or processed ingredients.

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