Food & Nutrition Australia - Accredited Practising Dietitian, Sharon Natoli
Setting children on the right path toward healthy eating habits early in life is critically important for their long health and wellbeing. The latest research shows a quarter of Aussie kids are an unhealthy weight and many have lower than ideal intakes of key nutrients such as iodine, iron and calcium1.
The following useful tips will help children eat well while also enjoying their foods:
• Make sure kids start the day with a healthy breakfast. For example, toast with cheese or cereal with milk and a piece of fruit.
• Get kids involved in cooking and food preparation, for example, having input into the foods that go into their lunchboxes.
• Pack a healthy lunchbox that includes a sandwich or roll made with high fibre bread, for example, chicken and salad on Bakers Delight Hi Fibre Lo GI bread.
• Provide nutritious after school snacks such as yoghurt, fruit smoothies, Bakers Delight Chia and Fruit buns or a slice of fruit loaf spread with ricotta cheese.
• Serve foods in interesting ways, for example, fruit on skewers for older kids, or using a younger child’s dinner foods to make faces on their dinner plate.
• Offer milk and water as the primary source of fluids for children.
• Provide a range of healthy foods for kids and let them decide how much they will eat (try to avoid conflicts at the dinner table!)
• Be a good role model by also enjoying a wide variety of healthy foods and living an active lifestyle!
Reference: 1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australia’s food & nutrition 2012. (AIHW, Canberra, ACT, Australia, 2012).