Six tips to help kids develop great eating habits.

Guest blogger Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.

Kids are at a critical stage in life when it comes to eating. Not only are their bodies rapidly growing, but they're developing habits and tastes that could determine their health for decades to come. Thankfully, here are steps to keep them eating right and encourage them to become smart eaters all on their own.

  1. Start Your Child's Day Right. They're not kidding when they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After a long night's sleep, we've run out of fuel and need glucose and other nutrients to function as the day begins. This is especially critical for growing children. Remember: Everyday is a busy day when you're young, and a busy day demands the right start.
  2. Teach Your Child to Enjoy Food. Associating food with the right emotions, settings and behaviors will put your child on the right path for a lifetime of healthy eating. Teach your child that eating is about community, family and fun. A child who sees food in the right context can enjoy a wider variety of tastes and make better choices.
  3. Use Healthy Snacks. Instead of snacks high in refined sugar, give your child fruits and vegetables as snacks. And use them with every meal. Whether it's ants on a log or applesauce, there are endless choices they'll enjoy. Fruits and vegetables never have to be unpleasant.
  4. Teach Them Variety. Variety is the spice of both life and healthy eating. Children often develop favorites and won't let go. Now is the time to teach them just how much great food there is out there. Make each meal a new adventure. You don't have to become an international chef – just mix it up and give your children a taste of something different. Keep them open-minded.
  5. Coordinate with School Officials. Know what your child is eating at school. Pay attention to lunch menus, ask what kinds of snacks are being served, if any. When you meet with your child's teachers, ask about food policies at birthday parties and other class celebrations. Let them know how you feel about your child's eating habits. And check snack policies so you know what you can send with your child each day.
  6. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate! Though they're smaller than adults, children consume more water per body weight. That means at least five glasses of water a day. It's essential to their health that they stay thoroughly hydrated, so make sure your child drinks water throughout the day.


You do everything you can to keep your kids healthy. Keeping them eating the right food is a critical part of that. These six steps will help you give your child the best possible eating habits and the right diet.

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