How do you help your child learn healthy eating habits?

Share the responsibility. You decide when, where, and what the family eats. Your child chooses whether and how much to eat from the options you provide.

Young children are good at listening to their bodies. They eat when they're hungry. They stop when they're full. When we try to control how much children eat, we interfere with this natural mechanism. Keeping this division of responsibility helps your child stay in touch with healthy habits.

Help your children learn to eat slowly by chewing their food to the maximum and they will more easily recognize when they are full. Rules, pleading, or bargaining should not dictate your child's eating patterns.

You can use some or all of the ideas below to get started. You may find other ideas that work for your family, which can be added.