1 September 2007

Dr David’s Tips for Raising Healthy Kids

Snack attack
You’ve seen it before: your child hangs on the refrigerator door staring inside while munching on a bag of potato crisps and complaining there’s nothing to eat. As cold air floods out, he's not just wasting electricity; he’s wasting an opportunity to make a healthy choice. End the hassle and help kids make healthy choices for after-school snacks by coming up with a list of options at the beginning of the week and then stocking your home with those foods. Snacking is a healthy part of a balanced diet if you make the right choices. But you need to:

  • Plan ahead. Prepare snacks in advance so you have a healthy alternative to junk food when hunger strikes.
  • Pay attention to hunger. Are you or your child really hungry or just bored. Will you be eating dinner in an hour or so, and if so will something small suffice? Or do you need a more substantial snack?
  • Keep it simple. Set aside a drawer in your fridge or pantry as a ‘no thinking’ snack zone filled with ready-to-eat (or nearly assembled) healthy snacks.
Take a tip: Encourage your child to put the snack on a plate and sit down to eat it. He will end up eating less and enjoying it more.

Dr David Ludwig

– Dr David Ludwig is Director of the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) program at Children’s Hospital Boston and author of Ending the Food Fight.

Video – CBS’s Hannah Storm talks to Dr David Ludwig about ending the food fight.