12 On Your Side: Bringing healthy foods into the home

News 12 This Morning/Friday January 10, 2014

(WRDW)--New year--new you! Words many parents live by every new year--

But it may be difficult to get your children in line--especially when it comes to healthy eating.

"Eating is a lifetime habit so what you want to do is make good food choices so that you can have a healthier life," said Josephine Mack, Richmond County Schools nutrition director.

Mack says creating those good food choices can be easier to do with younger children.

But, she says there are ways to help even the pickiest of eaters get a craving for healthy choices.

"First of all, you want to be positive about it," she explained. "Don't try to be mean about it. And, you do have children where they like certain things."

Mack suggests if you're trying to bring new things into your fridge to find something that your child already likes and try pairing something healthier with it.

"For instance,with the carrot sticks and ranch dressing--usually ranch dressing you can put on pretty much anything and the children will like it. So what you do--you find something that they like and then you incorporate something that you're trying to introduce that's new," she explained.

Along with that, using the dip it and dunk it method can also increase a child's interest in fruits and veggies--if they're dipping and dunking them into sauces they like.

Mack also says to try not to forget to make the foods look tasty.

"Make it colorful," she said. "Make sure it's pretty because you eat with your eyes. So you want to make sure it looks good."

And Mack tells me the school district is already working to introduce students to different healthier options with the Meals at No Cost program.

"If they eat with us they are getting more nutritious foods because we are bound to do that and we implement more fruits and vegetables," she said.

The guidelines the school district follows means more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat milk.

For more on nutrition, check out page two of the Centers for Disease Control's Face Sheet.


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