Let’s Talk About Nutrition with Dr. Shahnaz Ahmed
West County Pediatric Dentistry
Happy smiles start with good nutrition. Even from inside of the womb, children benefit from diets rich in vitamins and minerals. I’m sure we’d all love to have family meals that include appreciative smiles and an abundance of produce, but the reality can be quite different. Even for dentists. Below are tips and advice from some very smart nutritionists on encouraging healthy eating habits for your family.
We’ve also included a dinner chart for you to download. One of the recurring themes we noticed when writing this post is the need for children to be involved in their food choices. We thought it would be fun to create this chart so that everyone has an equal choice in family dinners. We’re not saying everyone gets a personalized meal (but hey, we’ve been there too) but everyone can have a say for a component of each meal. We included week-days only and divided food groups into Fruit, Vegetables, Protein, and Carbohydrate, which makes 20 squares. Divide 20 by the number of people in your family, and have everyone write favorites in each category on a post it. Then, assemble and plan your week of well rounded meals! Try it out and let us know how it goes.
‘We do recommend bringing kids to the grocery storeevery so often – even once every few months – to help familiarize them with the food they will eat. Grocery shopping is an important life skill, and sometimes involving kids in the process makes them more likely to try new foods. Plus, identifying foods at the store helps children learn colors, new words, practice sorting or categorization, and learn about manners and social cues while in public. (Eventually they’ll help you with grocery shopping and putting food away – now that’s something to look forward to!)’ – Feeding Littles
‘Bite your tongue.As hard as this may be, try not to comment on what or how much your kids are eating. Be as neutral as possible. Remember, you’ve done your job as a parent by serving balanced meals; your kids are responsible for eating them. If you play food enforcer—saying things like “Eat your vegetables”—your child will only resist.’ – Parenting Magazine