Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Helping Your Child Eat Healthy

As children head back to school, many parents are wondering about what their loved ones will eat during the day. After all, there's no good way to know if the healthy lunch of carrots, yogurt and tofu is being tossed aside for a diet of chips and cookies.

Pediatric dietitian Angie Eshleman of Sinai Hospital says the way to make lunch more appealing is by getting your children involved.

Instead of automatically making a turkey sandwich on whole wheat, let a child tell you that she'd rather have ham on multigrain, Eshleman says.

Why throw an apple into your son's lunch box when he would rather have carrots? she asks. If children like dressing, pack a small container of low-fat ranch, Eshleman advises.

"For instance, one of the best ways to make sure your kids like their lunches is to let them be in on the planning and packing process," Eshleman says. "It may take a little longer in the beginning, but they'll like having a choice and be more apt to eat their food."

For kids tired of the same old foods, Eshleman suggests a pasta salad with different color pasta or a cheese wrap, instead of a cheese sandwich.

Be creative, and if you have tips on how to get your children to eat healthy at school, post them in the comments section below.

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