How to Help Kids Follow Good Eating Habits


A strong foundation in healthy nutritional habits will yield many rewards to your children as they grow and develop. Encouraging balanced food choices at a young age can help kids add nourishment to their bodies all throughout their life and diminish the likelihood of ongoing health conditions down the road. Moreover, this can also improve how they feel at school, boost their ability to partake in physical activities, and help them get better sleep.

Arizona Digestive Health recognizes that a proper diet can markedly affect your child during their lifetime. Considering that September is designated as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we have provided helpful tips to help parents and guardians learn more about proper nutrition for children, balanced foods for kids, and lunchbox suggestions for little ones. Please continue reading and contact us to book a consultation with one of our gastrointestinal (GI) specialists in Phoenix, AZ for further details.

How to create proper eating habits for your child

Our GI specialists recommend a number of ways to help ensure good eating habits for healthy little ones. These include:

  • Adhere to portion amounts on nutrition panels and check the list of ingredients. Educating your kid about food ingredients and portion size can enable your child to be informed of their importance.
  • Have meals as a family on a consistent basis. Throughout the meal, try to have a positive conversation so your child doesn’t negatively associate eating with stress. Stress eating can lead to additional issues down the road.
  • Let your child help with food preparation and cooking activities. This provides the occasion to talk with your child about selecting nutritious foods and reviewing dietary information when buying and preparing food. It can also allow kids to explore nutritious eating and enjoy spending time as a family. Furthermore, involving your child in this way may reduce the chance of food aversions since he or she will have a chance to discover more about the food you choose.
  • Create a snack schedule and control food choices. Taking time to snack is an integral factor of nutrition. But it's good to plan out set times for snacking and the types of foods your kid can have as a snack. We also encourage parents to avoid letting children eat while watching television, as this could lead to overeating.
  • Avoid incorporating food as a punishment or reward. If you put your little one to sleep without eating dinner to discipline them or utilize sweets as a reward for good behavior, it could impact your child's relationship with eating over time.

What foods should be included in a child's diet?

Our Phoenix, AZ pediatric gastroenterologists recommend a nutritious diet that includes vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy. When feasible, it's advisable to limit the intake of sugar and trans fat during meals and snack time. By maintaining a diet that focuses on these ideal food selections, you can help your little one be more energetic and experience better overall health. If you are a parent or caregiver who prefers to plan, check out some favorite lunchbox suggestions for children:

How can I locate additional resources about nutrition for children?

Aside from the information detailed here, we wish to present a robust resource for parents and caregivers to help them access the latest information concerning children’s nutrition. A selection of the resources we recommend are as follows:

At Arizona Digestive Health, we are passionate about providing kids with a healthy start in life. Our pediatric GI doctors regularly work with parents to create a proper diet for children of all ages. Contact our Phoenix, AZ digestive specialists to further explore the positive effects of nutritious eating habits or selecting ideal dietary options for your child.