Teaching Kids to Eat Healthy – Tip Sheet: It’s a Process
Teaching kids to eat healthy involves understanding that food preference has a huge influence on food choices. Likes and dislikes are developed early in your child’s life, in the womb and as an infant. That is why women who are pregnant or nursing are encouraged to eat a variety of healthy foods. Your child’s early experiences with food can have an effect on their food preferences in adolescence and adulthood, in addition to any cultural, social, and environmental factors.
Getting your child to accept or prefer a particular type of food is a process that may require many exposures of that food before you see a dislike turn into a like. Our job as parents is to introduce healthy foods frequently in a positive and supportive eating environment (not with their favorite food, and you know why) without pushing or forcing such foods.
KidsHealth.org: Kids and Food: 10 Tips for Parents
The Journal of Current Biology: Early influences on the development of food preferences. Ventura, A and Worobey, J