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We all want our kids to grow up strong and healthy but with so many conflicting messages out there about what to feed them, it can be confusing at the best of times. So we’ve put together some tips to ensure your little ones get the key nutrients they need and enjoy a range of delicious foods.

Introduce them to new foods

The bane of any parent’s life is a kid who’s a fussy eater. This can make meal times incredibly stressful for both you and your child, and if left unchecked your child might not get all the nourishment they need. It’s best to introduce new foods intermittently to your kid’s diet from a young age and get them to try a few bites. Don’t force them to eat it though or they’ll go right off it.

Take control of your cupboards

You buy the food, so you decide what to serve and when. Many parents give in to kids pestering for unhealthy junk food just to ‘keep the peace’. Don’t worry, they won’t refuse to eat if you serve them a nutritious meal instead of something less healthy. Kids need boundaries around food and need to learn to make do with what’s in the cupboard and fridge. Favourite treats on occasion are ok.

Going out for dinner

Don’t just assume your kids will want burgers and fish n’ chips when you go out for a meal and will turn up their noses at healthy options. They might surprise you. There are lots of restaurants these days that offer kid-sized portions for smaller appetites. You can always start by letting them try a little of your dish or order them an appetizer.

Forget the fizz

As we mentioned above in no. 2, the occasional treat is fine but when it comes to soft drinks and juice, you should restrict this to a minimum. Even though 100% juice does have some vitamin C at least, soft drinks are just full of sugar, which means extra calories and potentially ruined teeth.

Sweet tooths

Like soft drinks, your kids’ sweet intake should be carefully monitored so they don’t fill up on them and get in the way of more nutritious food. In saying that kids love sweets, so fulfill the craving with fruit based desserts and dried fruit for snacks.

Set a good example

The biggest influence on your kids nutrition will be your eating habits, so the healthier you are, the healthier they’ll be. You can’t have one set of rules for them and another for yourself, so try to set a good example as a role model.

Follow these basic guidelines and your kids will be well on the way to eating right and maintaining a healthy weight. Don’t forget to encourage them to exercise too!