(HealthDay News) -- Teaching your young children to eat right is an important way to ensure their health well into adulthood. But convincing them to choose carrots over chips may be easier said than done.
Children learn by watching their parents, so setting a good example of healthy eating is important, the Nemours Foundation says. Children who participate in family meals are more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables, and less likely to snack on unhealthy foods. They are also less likely to indulge in smoking, drug and alcohol abuse.
Make family meals enjoyable for children by allowing them to invite friends to dinner, and encourage them to participate in meal planning. Keep meal-time conversation light and relaxed, and avoid punishments and lectures during dinner.
Choose only healthy foods from the grocery and make those the only options for your children's snacks. Avoid bringing home sugary drinks and high-fat snacks, and keep plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains on hand.