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Creating a Lifelong Healthy, Happy Eater

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1. Help support your child’s body

The best way for you to teach your child to listen to their body about when they are hungry and when they are full, is to put them on a regular mealtime schedule. When children are eating at regular times throughout the day, their body learns to recognize when it is time for a meal and when their body has had enough to eat. Being good at recognizing when you are hungry and full is important for long term health and weight management.

2. Let your child explore their food

As parents, we know are children learn best when they are allowed to explore new things. We also understand that learning happens fastest, happiest, and strongest when a child is having fun. For example, we have our child crawl towards our smiling faces or a favorite toy. We teach them how to talk by naming things most important to them, like the dog, their blanket, and their ball. We sing songs to teach them the alphabet. We use story books to teach them colors and the names of animals. Yet, when it comes to food, many parents believe there should be no play involved. Exploring and playing with your foods is part of the process of learning to eat well.

3. Introduce your child to a wide range of flavors

Research indicates that most children’s flavor preferences remain steady after the age of 4. Therefore, it is critical to introduce your young child to as many different flavors as you can, starting with baby food purees and finger foods.

For more tips and strategies for raising a healthy and happy eater, become an SOS Parent Member.

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