How to get children to eat healthy

How to get children to eat healthy

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ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. -

Trying to get your children to eat healthy can feel like a losing battle. A nutrition expert with one local school district with a healthy track record had some tips to turn that losing battle into a victory.

Students eating lunch at Lorraine Elementary School in Rockdale County will not find greasy pizza or tater tots on the menu.

"We've got peaches. We've got carrot sticks packaged up. We've got a spinach salad with fresh spinach in it, some romaine, homemade croutons made with wheat bread and a low-fat Italian vinaigrette," said Peggy Lawrence, the Director of School Nutrition of Rockdale County schools.

The county is leading the way in the country's new standard that school lunches be healthier. The kids here don't seem to mind.

"I like them because they're good, and they're healthy," said student Monet Rose.

If your children eat at school, you shouldn't have to worry. But how do get your kids to eat nutritiously at home? Lawrence says keep it quiet.

"For example, today's menu we're serving spaghetti. The pasta is a whole grain pasta. We're not making a big deal about that with the children, but we know that what we're doing for them is healthier," said Lawrence.

She also says kids love color, and food they can control. She suggests offering them smaller vegetables and fruits that will attract their attention.

"They love things that are bite-sized and that they can pick up eat with their fingers, they love things they can dip into something," said Lawrence.

She says get your children involved in meal planning and cooking if you can. The more they know, the more they're likely to be on board with any changes. It could take some time, but their palate will change.

Lawrence says if at all possible, have a garden that you tend with your child. It helps you connect the dots in the food chain, helping them understand what goes into their bodies.

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