×
Riley Hospital for Children Visitor Restrictions

Due to a rise in the number of reported flu cases and other respiratory viruses, Riley at IU Health is implementing visitor restrictions to protect patients and prevent further spreading. View full details.

Book Appointment Online with select physicians.
Request Appointment Online to schedule with one of our coordinators.
1.888.IUHEALTH for
Same-Day Primary Care Appointments.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

Start Good Eating Habits Early

Helping your children establish (and hopefully maintain) good eating habits means starting early, introducing nutritious foods, modeling good eating behavior and maintaining a home environment that reinforces a healthy lifestyle.

When it comes to healthy eating, it is important to recognize there are a wide range of parenting styles and many acceptable ways to help kids get the nutrition they need and provide motivation to make good choices. The key is to find what works for your family, and to foster an environment where your children have access to healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein.

It is critical that mealtime not be a struggle for the parent or the child. It is a parent’s job to provide a healthy (and hopefully delicious) meal. It is a child’s choice whether to eat it. The most important thing is to continue offering healthy alternatives, encouragement and reasons why eating a variety of healthy foods will help him or her grow up to be healthy and strong. When parents start introducing healthy foods early, children are more likely to accept them. Other strategies include eating meals together as a family and serving as a good role model when snacking at home and when ordering at restaurants. If your child sees you making good choices, he or she is likely to follow your lead. Children that embrace healthy habits at a young age are more likely to continue them into adulthood. 

Given the wealth of information on raising children (both good and bad) at our fingertips, it is important to use reliable resources. One way to obtain good information is to ask your primary care physician. I often refer my patients to the websites choosemyplate.gov and healthychildren.org to provide additional guidance.

Andy R. Dillingham, DO

Author of this Article

Andy Dillingham, DO, specializes in family medicine and is a guest columnist located at IU Health Physicians Primary Care - IU Health North Hospital. Not only does Andy specialize in Family Medicine, he also specializes in Skin Biopsy, Selected Joint Injections, Mole Removal, Well Child Visits, Adult Preventive, Medicine, Diabetes, Hypertension and High Cholesterol. 

View More Articles By This Author

Viewing all posts in …

Other Blog Posts That May Interest You

Blog

All About Your Thyroid: What is a Thyroid and What Does it Do?

Family Care

Many people experience health problems related to their thyroid. However, you may not know what your...

Continue reading
Blog Why, when, and how to talk to your daughter about her period.

Why, when, and how to talk to your daughter about her period.

Family Care

While attitudes are more open and relaxed than they were a generation or two ago, some parents may...

Continue reading
Blog The No-Panic Guide to Handling Kid’s Health Emergencies

The No-Panic Guide to Handling Kid’s Health Emergencies

Family Care

My Kid Just: Swallowed a Small Toy Chances are good it will go down the esophagus, into the...

Continue reading

Viewing all posts in …