Health Tip: Planning Meals for Your Children

Keep them on a regular schedule

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(HealthDay News) -- Many parents may wonder about how frequently their children need to eat, how to regulate snacks, and what to do if their child simply refuses to eat or won't eat very much.

Here are some suggestions, courtesy of the University of California San Francisco Children's Hospital:

  • Try to provide meals and snacks at the same time every day.
  • Three regular meals and two or three snacks will provide your youngsters with enough food throughout the day without overwhelming their small stomachs.
  • Keep mealtime separate from playtime. While eating, don't allow your child to play a game or watch TV.
  • If your child is not hungry or does not want to eat, don't force him. Your child will eat when he's hungry, and should learn to regulate his eating according to his appetite.
  • If you offer your child a variety of healthy foods at each meal, he will be more likely to try them and to develop healthy eating habits.

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