Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Food pyramid offers healthy eating strategies for preschoolers

The ages of 2-5 years old are when food habits and taste preferences are established. That’s why a new food pyramid designed specifically for preschool children is so important.

MyPyramid for Preschoolers is intended to help parents make better food choices for children.

These choices are more important than ever, especially when you consider that nearly 15 percent of preschoolers in this country are overweight.

By accessing www.mypyramid.gov parents can find real-life strategies for introducing new foods, encouraging children to eat a variety of vegetables and talking to kids about food.

A section titled “phrases that help and hinder,” teaches parents to reframe food discussions to be more positive.

Unknowingly, many parents may be doing more harm than good when they coerce their kids into eating certain foods or using food as a reward.

The benefits of eating together as a family are a major focus of the new pyramid as well.

Ideas are offered to make family mealtime more enjoyable and less stressful, including recipes for quick, nutritious and economical meals and snacks.

Other features of the MyPyramid for Preschoolers website include customized eating plans, growth charts, advice on developing healthy eating habits, physical activity and food safety.

The new food pyramid and its website offer much more than calorie-counting charts. They offer sound advice that could last a lifetime.

Wendy Kane is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator in the Backus Hospital Diabetes Management Center. This advice should not replace the advice from your physician. Email Ms. Kane and all the Healthy Living columnists at healthyliving@wwbh.org or comment on their blog at www.healthydocs.blogspot.com.

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