Through our 30 years, Asthma & Allergy Specialists, PA has grown to offer a variety of services. As part of our services, we offer nutritional counseling through our on-site registered dietician, Raquel Durban. Whether you or your child is coping with food allergies, weight management, picky eating or general nutrition, Raquel can help. In addition to working with our physicians, she will partner with your health care provider to ensure everyone is in the know on helping you reach your goals.
You or your child may have struggled with or currently struggle with food, whether it be restriction or over indulgence. You’ve probably experienced, at least to some degree, a child pitching a fit about eating a new food, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
7 tips for getting your children to make nutritious food choices.
1. Avoid being the food police. Forcing kids to eat foods they dislike is a recipe for rebellion, resentment and frustration. Instead, only stock your pantry and fridge with a variety of nutritious options. That way, every dietary choice your child makes in your home will be a good one.
2. Introduce healthy new dishes each week, while continuing to serve one or two familiar foods. The goal is to quickly eliminate the worst foods your kids currently eat, followed by less-than-ideal options, as you replace them with more wholesome choices. Keep in mind that kids often need to try a new food several times before deciding they like it.
3. Make food fun! Add greens to a fruit smoothie for and create a super hero name for it. Also let kids have fun helping you cook meals or arrange foods on a plate. For younger kids, veggies may taste better when shaped into a smiley face, while older children may take pride in cooking greens they like, then being creative with spices or garnishes. Adding a little vanilla, cinnamon or cacao often goes a long way in getting kids interested in otherwise bland food.
4. Play with your food. Make learning about nutrition enjoyable by turning it into a game. You can present your kids with different foods and have thumb put thumbs up or thumbs down depending on if the snack is healthy or not.
5. Let kids choose their own “parent-approved” snacks. Another easy way to help kids make great food decisions, even at a young age, to have a “snack shelf” of nutritious foods they can reach themselves. By encouraging your kids to make their own decisions about what to eat (from an assortment of healthy options), they start learning to take responsibility for their nutrition.
6. Allow kids to make dietary mistakes — and learn from them. Since you don’t want to be the food police, avoid scolding your kids about poor dietary choices. Instead, look for opportunities to help them learn from the consequences. For example, you might point out that the gooey birthday cake your son or daughter ate a friend’s party could be what caused the tummy ache or nausea that struck afterward.
7. One of the best ways to help your kids form a healthy relationship with food is by teaching them to connect what they eat with how they feel. If your kids eat something nutritious, ask them how they feel. Suggest names for these feelings, such as “energized” or “happy.”
If you are interested in nutritional services, feel free to make an appointment on our website. Appointments are at your convenience, whether in office or through a virtual consult. We can’t wait to help you!