Tips for Grandparents

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Grandchildren are a very important part of families. Grandparents are often known to “spoil” their grandchildren. They often show their love by giving their grandchildren all the food they like. Often, these foods are not healthy for the kids.

Help your grandchildren by helping them grow up without health problems. Grandparents can support their own children in their efforts to feed healthy foods and also encourage active play in their grandchildren. Additionally, prevent diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, and obesity in yourself.

The #1 key to raising healthy eaters is the division of responsibility – Parents Provide, Kids Decide:

  • Parents and caregivers are responsible for what, when, and where.
  • The child is responsible for how much and whether to eat.

This also applies to grandparents! It is important for grandparents to support the parents and follow these same principles. See Healthy Eating Tips for Parents for more information.

Give the children the gift of healthy foods

  • Be sure to provide fruits and vegetables for a snack and offer water when your grandchildren are thirsty.
  • Save sweets and other snacks like chips and candies for special occasions.

Show grandchildren you love them by doing things together

  • Play games or go for walks together.
  • Tell stories, sing, or read to them.
  • Give bubbles, a ball, or a water squirt toy as a treat instead of candy, chips, and sugary drinks.

Be a good role model for your grandchildren

Set a good example in front of your grandchildren by eating fruits and vegetables, taking 1 ‘normal’ size portion of food, exercising, drinking water instead of sugary drinks, and limiting your television time to less than one hour a day.

Let children make choices about eating

  • Allow them to choose what foods they want to eat. 
  • Let your grandchildren decide if they are hungry at meal and snack times and when they are finished eating. 
  • Only your grandchildren know if they are full. Don’t encourage children to finish all their food or to eat more food.

Give food silly names

  • Children love silly things and will usually try something new if it has a funny name.
  • Call broccoli trees.
  • Make a face or a design with the food!
  • Cut sandwiches into shapes with cookie cutters.

Let them help

  • Grandchildren love to help! Kids who help make their snacks are more likely to eat them.

Think small

  • It will not be so overwhelming if there are small amounts on a plate. Kids will ask for more if they are still hungry.

This post was last updated on January 2nd, 2020 at 2:00 PM

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