Healthy eating is essential to a child's well-being. Children who are overweight are at risk for chronic health problems. The Weight-control Information Network (WIN), a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), offers guidance to parents and caregivers on how to encourage healthy eating habits in children.
Throughout any process or program that you undertake to address your child's eating habits, be supportive. Help your child set specific goals and track his or her progress. Reward successes with praise and hugs. Be positive.
Tell your child that he or she is loved, special, and important. Children's feelings about themselves are often based on how they think their parents and other caregivers feel about them. Children need compassion, understanding, and encouragement from caring adults.
Note: Foods that are small, round, sticky, or hard to chew, such as raisins, whole grapes, hard vegetables, hard chunks of cheese, nuts, seeds, and popcorn can cause choking in children under age 4. You can still prepare some of these foods for young children, for example, by cutting grapes into small pieces and cooking and cutting up vegetables. Children should always be supervised during meals and snacks.