There are tons of benefits to healthy eating and getting your kids into good eating habits early, even if they’re picky eaters, can help to establish healthy, lifelong patterns.

Fruits & Veggies!
1.  Always pack some sort of fruit or vegetable as a lunchtime snack. Keep a few options at home that kids can choose from. This way they will choose something they like but it will still be healthy.
2.  The earlier you get them eating fruits and veggies, the more likely they are to grow to like them and keep eating them when they’re adults.

Don’t Bring Junk in to the House
1.  If your children don’t have unhealthy snack options they won’t make unhealthy choices. The best way to ensure they’re eating right is simply not to offer foods loaded with fat and sugar.
2.  Set an example. If you eat junk food at home, your kids are going to want to do the same.

Healthier Alternatives
1.  Sandwiches are a lunchtime staple, but the bread can make a difference. Try putting peanut butter and jelly on a whole-wheat bagel or whole-wheat toast instead of white bread.
2.  Hummus is a great alternative to dressings filled with fat and carbs, instead try hummus as a dip for veggies like cucumbers and celery.

Do It Yourself
1.  Instead of buying a snack mix that’s full of salt, make your own, with low-fat pretzels, dried cranberries and mini chocolate chips.
2.  Making homemade cookies with fresh ingredients is much better than buying pre-packaged cookies or pre-made dough.
3.  Plant a garden together.  Learning where fruits and vegetables come from will give them a better sense of where these important foods come from.

Teachable Moment: Instead of just telling kids what to eat, explain to your kids why they’re eating this food and teach them the importance of nutrition. It doesn’t mean they will stop liking sweets and soda but they will want to make better choices if they understand the reason behind them.