You’re Kidding!

by Roberta Duyff, MS RDN FAND

You’re Kidding!

Do you know that kids influence up to 80 percent of family food spending?

Still, as a family shopper, you control what foods go into the family kitchen. For children, you decide the three Ws: What foods to offer, When, and Where. As kids learn to be good eaters, they decide the other W and the H: Which offered foods to eat, How much. (Why "How much?" Kids need to learn to listen to their body cues, in order to know when they're really hungry and when they're full.)

As you shop for family foods:

  • Create the shopping list together.
  • Stock food-group snacks they like: Perhaps fruit; crunchy veggies; pretzels; milk in kid-friendly containers; string cheese; single-serve fruit, yogurt drinks, or pudding snacks.
  • Shop supermarket aisles together. Encourage children to pick fruits and vegetables they'd enjoy. Talk about foods' colors, shapes, and textures as you do.
  • Read food labels together. That gives practice with reading skills, too.
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About the author:

Roberta L Duyff MS RDN FAND

Roberta Duyff, MS RDN FAND

Author of "Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Fourth Edition" and "365 Days of Healthy Eating from the American Dietetic Association" (both published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New Jersey).




  • Cook healthy

    Involve your child in the cutting, mixing and preparation of all meals. Even a snack can be healthy.

  • Eat right

    Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day's experiences with one another.

  • Shop smart

    To encourage a healthy lifestyle, get your children involved in selecting the food that will appear at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table.

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