Adults and children eat better when they have a meal and snack time routine:
- Schedule time to shop for meals and snacks.
- Make a grocery list before you shop.
- Eat meals at regular times, and plan snacks so that you are hungry at mealtime.
Eat foods that you enjoy in the amounts you need:
- Serve a variety of foods at meals. Let people pick and choose from what you serve. Don't offer substitutes or short order cook.
- Pay attention when you eat. Be aware of feelings of hunger and fullness.
- Turn off the television when you eat, sit down to eat, eat slowly and enjoy your food.
- Snacks contribute to healthy eating so make them good to eat and good for you. Sit down when you snack and pay attention to what you are eating.
- Don't graze. Foods that we graze on are usually high in fat and/or sugary foods. Grazing spoils your appetite for meals. Children who graze will have trouble eating the right amount of food needed for proper growth, and will have trouble learning to eat a variety of foods.
Prepare family meals:
- Cook more often. Family meals prepared at home can be simple and inexpensive. Even a take-out meal can be a family meal if you sit down and eat it together.
- Try something new. Prepare familiar and unfamiliar foods or favorite foods with not-so-favorite foods. Let your family choose what to eat from what you serve. Pretty soon the unfamiliar foods will become familiar foods to them.
- Eat regular meals. Make the family meal a time for conversation and sharing the events of the day. Don't let your family meal become stressful by trying to get your child to eat a certain food or a certain amount.
Additional resources for feeding you and your family:
For more information, contact:
Center for Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention
1400 Parkmoor Avenue, Ste. 120 B
San Jose, CA 95126