Start Your Preschooler on the Path to Healthy Eating

7 Tips To Raising Healthy Eaters

Be a Healthy Role Model

Be a good role model by eating regular meals based on nutrient-rich foods, such as low-fat or fat-free dairy products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Enjoy Family Meals

Establish routines around mealtimes and snacks. Be sure to allow children enough time at the table—aim for 20 minutes.

Try New Foods

You may have to offer a food 10–15 times before it’s accepted. Try to add just one new food to a meal with three or so healthy foods your child already enjoys.

Trust Your Preschooler’s Stomach

Watch for signals that your child is full and finished eating (playing with food, for example). Offer children nutritious food, and they will naturally regulate the amount they eat.

Divide Responsibility

You determine what foods are served and when. Your child should decide which and how much of those healthy foods offered he or she will eat.

Eat Snacks

Regularly scheduled healthy snacks are like “mini-meals.” Snacks can provide up to a quarter of the nutrients children need each day, as well as enough calories (energy) to sustain them through a busy day of school and/or play.

Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Go Hand in Hand

Children should be active at play for at least one to two hours each day.  Consider options like a simple outing to the park to play or more organized classes or age-appropriate sports.

This information is provided by the Dairy Council of California at