Family and friends sitting at a dining table

A recent study conducted has shown a disturbing trend in children’s eating habits. Children’s eating habits were recorded and the study revealed children are not eating the daily recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables. While this is not news to most parents of children, the researchers offered up tips and tricks to helping your child build healthy eating habits.

Eat Together

It’s hard to eat as a family these days. Too often, we find ourselves grabbing a meal on the go. Everyone has different schedules and activities which keep them away from the dinner table. Eating meals together as a family has become a luxury instead of the norm. Are missing family meals hurting our kids? The study revealed children of families who eat meals together at least once or twice a week consume more fruits and vegetables. Make dinnertime a priority. Set it on the calendar and plan to spend the time as a family. Fixing quick and healthy meals can help get your family around the dinner table. You’ll feel good knowing they are eating right and you get to spend time together.

Cut It Up

The study also found children ate more if their parents cut up everything on their plate. When their food was easier to eat, children were consuming almost half a portion more than if they were given their food whole. Parents can encourage healthy eating habits by making the food on kid’s plates as accessible as possible. When you’re plating food, go ahead and take the time to cut up the kids’ food before calling them to the table. Having their food ready to go when they sit down can encourage them to dig right in.

Learn from You

Kids learn healthy habits from their parents, including eating habits!  If your kids see you making all around healthy choices, they’ll feel more comfortable making those choices on their own. They’ll be more likely to choose fruits and vegetables on their own if they are used to seeing their parents eating them. They’ll understand eating as a family since their parents stress the importance.

The study is published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.