Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits: Making Whole Grain Bread & Other Healthy Foods Part Of A Routine If you're a parent, encouraging healthy food habits should be a lesson that you're teaching. Kids who start their lives with healthy eating habits are less likely to become overweight as adults, but more importantly, these kids will likely continue to make healthy foods a part of their routine even as adults. If you're not sure how you can encourage these good-for-you habits, here are a couple tips. Do: Include Whole Grain Bread In Your Diet Many people are moving towards whole grains because of their nutritional value. However, whole grain breads are often rejected by families with kids because of their taste and texture. If your family prefers the taste of soft white bread but you're looking for the nutritional goodness of whole grain bread, don't worry! You can find some breads made with finely ground whole grains – TM TM a great example is the new WONDER+ INVISIBLES bread that is baked with 18 smooth whole grains so it tastes like a soft white bread rather than a whole grain bread. Do: Offer Vegetables Often Many kids don't like to eat their vegetables. Small kids have stronger taste buds than adults, which means that some veggies with very strong tastes can seem overwhelming to children. Offer vegetables with every evening meal, but don't stress too much if your children refuse them. Many parents are tempted to puree vegetables and sneak them into other foods. This approach is okay (it will certainly get essential nutrients in their bellies), as long as you continue to offer actual vegetables. If children don't know they're not eating veggies, vegetables won't become a part of their routine and they might need to retrain their taste buds to like them as they get older. Food Don'ts Whenever there's a 'do,' there's a 'don't' and it's true with food habits too. Some of them seem simple -- choose lower fat options when available, limit fast foods, avoid sugary drinks and more. However, many people don't realize that they should limit foods that are unhealthy, rather than make them completely off limits. A food that's off limits will become a temptation once children receive a little bit of freedom. If your home has stringent food guidelines, chances are good that your kids will instantly gravitate towards these unhealthy choices when you're not around. So, make a soda a one a week (or less!) treat instead of an everyday choice. You might be surprised at the choices your children make once these treats aren't considered forbidden. Encouraging healthy eating habits should be a goal of every parent. Your children are watching the choices you make and the behaviours you model, so don't forget about adding healthy options like whole grain bread and vegetables in your own diet. Maria Noble is a Canadian mother and writer who likes writing about ways to improve her family's health, including essential nutrients (http://wonderbread.ca/nutrition) in their diets with whole grain bread (http://wonderbread.ca/products/breads). A lot of her research comes from analyzing one of her favourite products soft white bread (http://wonderbread.ca/) from WONDER® Bread.
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