Staten Island Pediatrician Offers the Top 10 Food Tips for Healthy Eating

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Dr. Michael Gabriel of Gabriel Pediatrics, a Staten Island Pediatric Care Center, discusses 10 different ways to incorporate healthy eating into your child’s diet.

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Dr. Michael Gabriel of Gabriel Pediatrics, a Staten Island Pediatric Care Center, offers 10 tips to incorporating healthy foods into your child’s diet.

Dr. Gabriel of Gabriel Pediatrics says there are some basic guidelines that can help encourage kids to ‘eat right’ and maintain a healthy weight throughout childhood.

1)    Control what you supply: “Essentially, you as a parent decide which foods to buy and serve your children,” says Gabriel. “They will eat what’s available to them so just make to provide your children with healthy options.”

2)    Let kids have some say in the matter. “Kids definitely need to have a say in the matter so let them choose what to eat and how much of it they want from the options you have provided,” Gabriel explains.

3)    Get rid of the “clean-plate club.” “It’s important to allow kids to stop eating when they feel as though they’ve had enough. Children need to learn how to listen to their bodies so as not to overeat,” says Gabriel.

4)    Start healthy eating as young as possible. “It has been proven that food preferences are developed young so be sure to offer variety and if a certain food option isn’t accepted at first try re-serving it at different occasions. Chances are they may like it eventually,” explains Gabriel.

5)    Rewrite the children’s menu. “It’s cliché to think children only like hot dogs, pizza, or macaroni and cheese,” says Gabriel. “Let your children try new foods, they might surprise you with their willingness to experiment!”

6)    Keep a watchful eye on drink calories. “Soda and other sweetened drinks add many extra calories to a child’s diet,” warns Gabriel. “Water and milk are the two best choices for kids.”

7)    Sweets in moderation. “Sweets are okay but don’t ever turn dessert into the main reason for finishing dinner,” says Gabriel. “Staying neutral about food is important. It keeps your children from valuing certain foods over others.”

8)    Food is not a love momento. “Foods are often used to reward kids and show affection, however this can lead to many children using food as a coping mechanism,” warns Gabriel.

9)    Serve as a good role model. “Children are extremely impressionable and watch everything you do. Make sure to eat healthy yourself,” says Gabriel. “When trying to teach good eating habits, it is vital to being the best example possible.”

10)    Limit TV and computer time. “Most mindless snacking is done in front of the computer or TV screen. Limiting ‘screen time’ will encourage children to seek more active things to do, making for healthier lifestyles,” Gabriel says.

Gabriel Pediatrics provides comprehensive pediatric care to children throughout the New York area with practices both in Brooklyn and Staten Island. Our board certified pediatricians and experienced staff help provide a very warm and nurturing environment for both you and your children. Our approach combines the latest treatment methods with the personal attention you should expect from your doctor. Simply put, we understand the importance of communication and trust and we are earning that trust one family at a time.

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Scott Darrohn
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