How to improve your child's diet

Make healthy food choices easy to make

If you make healthier food available and easy to choose, kids will eat it. Researchers, whose study was published in Obesity, say removing unhealthy food from restaurant menus improves children's diets and increases revenue.

The researchers worked with a restaurant chain called Silver Diner. After the chain removed fries and sugared drinks from the menu, they added healthier sides and monitored the results.

What happened?

The number of kids who ordered healthy sides with their meals increased 54%, and revenue increased .79 for breakfasts and .19 for other items!

Restaurant managers, then, can help our children make healthier food choices without fear of remaining competitive, and you can do it without negative consequence at home, too. Here are some easy ways to implement the same principles in your own kitchen:

  1. Make healthy foods easily accessible: wash carrots, cherry tomatoes, cherries, and grapes. Slice apples, watermelon, peppers, and cucumbers. Boil eggs. Arrange in see-through containers and place in the refrigerator at your child's eye level
  2. Buy healthy snacks: load up on nuts, whole wheat crackers, Greek yogurt, unsweetened applesauce, dried fruit, and cheese
  3. Avoid sugary drinks: instead, flavor water with cucumber, mint, or watermelon. For a once a week treat, buy seltzer water and mix with a few tablespoons of orange juice for flavor
  4. Limit (and hide) treats: store cookies and other treats in an inconvenient spot (like above the refrigerator) so the kids aren't tempted with poor food choices every time the snack drawer is opened

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