Phase 3: Healthy Habits
Congratulations on making it to Phase III. You’re plugging right along through toddler-hood; just a little while more until you will have a school-aged child! Your diligence and hard work is paying off. You are raising a happy, healthy eater. Great work! The healthy habits that you have instilled are becoming more of a routine and seeming like child’s play, so to speak.
Reinforce Good Habits
- If you find you are sometimes losing the battle against poor nutrition, take a look at the number of hours she may be spending with the television. Even the youngest child can be influenced by dancing burgers and singing cereal, which makes your job a little tougher.
- Teaching your child to request green beans instead of deep fried tater tots started in Phase I. You set the right example; you offered healthy food and did not hide squash in a cake mix. Your child will continue to see and eat healthy food because she is familiar with wholesome food and how to eat it.
- Mealtime should be family time. Children, no matter their age, do not like to eat alone. The television is not adequate company.
- Since Phase I you have been laying the groundwork for healthy food choices, whether you are with your child or not. Your child is growing; many children are entering preschool and day care. Help reinforce your hard work by sending healthy lunches and snacks. If your child care center provides meals, feel free to send your own or speak up if the meals are not to your healthy eating standards.
- Eating junk does not help promote healthy eating. Get the junk out of the house. It is understandable that you do not want to waste food. However, the half box of sugar cookies, last year’s Halloween candy or a half eaten bag of high fat potato chips are not going to be missed from your healthy habits food menu.
- Even though your toddler is growing, resist the temptation to overestimate how much he will eat, especially when it comes to new foods. One or two tablespoons is usually enough of any new food. If he likes it, he will always ask for more.
- Make cooking a family affair. Involve your child in all phases of food preparation (be safe!) and answer any questions they may have about cooking.