“I’m not sure how it happened,” your client laments. “I used to be so careful about what my children ate. But, over the years,our eating habits have declined without my noticing. The kids pester me into buying high-sugar breakfast cereals and fruit bars, and they say all of their friends are drinking soda for lunch. ‘Just this once,’ has turned into a daily routine.My kids also seem to be a little pudgier than their friends, and they hardly ever eat fruits or vegetables. Do you have any suggestions for improving my family’s eating habits?”
The childhood years are parents’ last chance to exert a meaningful influence over their children’s food choices. While children in elementary school (thoseapproximately six to 12 years old) may have strong food preferences, they are a relatively captive audience when it comes to mealtime:Parents and caregivers still purchase and prepare most of the food consumed by children in this age group.
How important is childhood nutrition?
For children, food provides the building blocks for healthy growth and development. Children generally need the same nutrients as adults, but usually in smaller amounts. Without adequate nutrition, children may develop deficiency disorders, such as iron-deficiency. Poor eating habitsmay result in a lack of energy during school and at play. They may fail to attain their potential adult height.