As my son has grown into a toddler, this is a problem I face frequently. While he used to eat almost anything that I put in front of him, there are nights where all he wants to eat is a cereal bar. I’ll offer many healthy suggestions, but he points at the pantry door and cries. And cries.

I know that it’s OK if I cave on these occasions; they aren’t every night, and for the most part he eats pretty well given his age. But I also know that I need to start encouraging smart choices now, so that when he has a wider selection before him, he’ll pick the healthy ones at least some of the time.

Encouraging kids to make healthy decisions

with advice from Anna Dark
and Angela Mader

If you’re a parent, this probably sounds familiar: You’ve worked to make a healthy meal for your son (or daughter), but he’d rather have a cereal bar. Or snack foods. Or nothing. So how do you encourage him to eat healthy food and make responsible choices when eating?

Nutrition and fitness expert Anna Dark encourages parents and caregivers to be patient and positive. She says, “The goal is to get them to adopt the healthier choices because it is GOOD for THEM and ultimately will form a good habit that will take them into their adulthood!” After earning her degree in nutrition, Anna became the Fitness Director at the Take Charge Fitness Program at Clinton Physical Therapy Center, a Physiquality member in Clinton, Tennessee.

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