Food for Kids: 3 Mistakes Even Smart Moms Make
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Food for Kids: 3 Mistakes Even Smart Moms Make

To keep your kids happy and healthy, avoid making these three food mistakes.
Mistake 1: Not giving kids a choice.

"Children are much more likely to eat healthy foods when they get to pick them out, instead of being railroaded into eating them," says nutritionist Kathy McManus, RD, a FITNESS advisory board member. "Take your child to the store and let him choose one fruit, one vegetable, and several healthy snacks."

Mistake 2: Not offering a food because you assume she won't eat it.

"Often children who are picky eaters have parents who simply didn't expose them to enough variety," McManus says. Your child may not like baby carrots the first few times she tries them, but keep serving them. You'll be surprised at what they start to enjoy.

Mistake 3: Not allowing special treats.

"It's important to give kids the occasional ice cream cone or chocolate bar. If you forbid them, your children are going to want them more -- and never learn balance," explains McManus. Here's permission to indulge them a few times a week.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July 2007.