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Learning Good Eating Habits Early Leads to Lifelong Health and Wellness
Date:5/14/2008

Meals Matter Website Helps Families Raise Preschoolers to Be Healthy Eaters

SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Children between 2 and 5 years old experience developmental changes that affect their eating habits, and by anticipating and appropriately reacting to these changes, families can help turn their preschoolers into healthy eaters for life.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080514/NYFNSW01 )

According to Monica Montes, a Los Angeles-area registered dietitian and co-founder of N.E.W. Health Consultants, Inc, eating habits form as early as age 3, making the preschool years an important developmental window. At the same time, parents may face difficult changes in their children's food preferences.

"Feeding obstacles often start as children reach 2 years old and continue for several years," said Montes. "Children may eat less, demand foods they see on television, refuse foods or beverages they once enjoyed and start using utensils or sippy cups."

Montes offers the following tips so that families -- parents, grandparents and others present at mealtimes -- can prepare for these changes and respond appropriately.

-- Gradually introduce new foods one at a time, realizing that it can take

up to 15 tries before the child accepts it.

-- Try to add just one new food to a meal with three or so healthy foods

your child already enjoys.

-- Be sure to include new foods on your own plate .

-- Offer nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups, including low-fat

milk, vegetables, whole-grains and fruits.

-- Trust your preschooler's stomach, they will naturally regulate the

amount they eat.

-- Eat meals together as a family to model healthy habits.

To help families, Meals Matter, htt
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SOURCE Dairy Council of California
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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