Learn How to Help Children Build Good Nutritional Habits

A strong foundation in good nutritional habits provides a number of advantages to kids now and well into the future. Good dietary choices at a young age can help children learn how to nourish their bodies as they grow and decrease the chance of long-term health concerns as they age. In addition, this could also elevate their energy level at school, boost their ability to engage in physical activities, and improve their quality of sleep. 

San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates knows that proper nutrition can greatly impact your little ones throughout their lifetime. Since September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we have included information to help parents learn more about proper nutrition for children, healthy meals and snacks, and lunchbox ideas for kids. We invite you to read the following tips and contact our team to arrange a visit with one of our gastrointestinal (GI) specialists in San Antonio, TX to learn more. 

How can I establish good nutritional habits for my kids? 

Our GI specialists recommend several approaches to help encourage proper diets for healthy kids, such as:  

  • Involve your kids in the shopping and cooking activities. This provides the chance to instruct your child about selecting nutritious foods and reading dietary labels when choosing and preparing food. Such an experience can enable children to enjoy exploring healthy eating habits while also spending time as a family. In addition, by promoting participation, you may not encounter aversion to certain foods as frequently since your child can learn more about the food you choose. 
  • Sit down to have meals as a family as often as possible. During dinner, foster positive conversation so your family does not develop a negative or stressful association food. Eating associated with stress might result in other issues later on. 
  • Avoid treating food as a punishment or reward. When you put your child to sleep without dinner to discipline them or utilize sugary foods as a pat on the back for proper behavior, it could affect your child's relationship with food down the road. 
  • Utilize portion sizes on food packaging panels and check the ingredients. Teaching your little ones about nutrition labels and proper portions can enable them to learn how the items can impact their health. 
  • Manage snack times and the types of food consumed. Taking time to snack is an essential part of ideal nutrition. It is a good idea to designate a snack time and the types of food your little one consumes. Try to avoid having your child snack while watching television, as this might result in overeating. 

What nutritious foods for kids should your child's diet include? 

Our San Antonio, TX pediatric gastrointestinal specialists suggest a well-balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruits, dairy, protein, and grains. If feasible, you should try and control portions of trans fat and sugar during snack times and when consuming meals. By following a diet that primarily includes these ideal food choices, you can help your family members feel better and be healthier. If you have school-aged kids, consider reviewing some of our favorite lunchbox tips for children:  

Where can I find more resources about healthy foods for children? 

Besides the information detailed here, our staff members wish to present a full-bodied collection of tips for parents, which can allow them to find the latest facts about children’s nutrition. A selection of the resources we suggest includes:  

At San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates, our practitioners are focused on helping kids build healthy habits early in life. Our pediatric GI specialists commonly work with parents to help create a good diet for their children. Please call our San Antonio, TX digestive experts to learn more about the advantages of nutritious dietary intake or selecting the ideal food options for kids of all ages.