Tips for Parents

    • Create a healthy food and physical activity friendly home environment! Provide healthy and attractive food options & opportunities for your child to be physically active. Avoid placing a TV/computer in your child’s bedroom & having unhealthy food such as sweets (e.g. gummy bears, cookies, chocolate bars) and salty snacks (e.g. crisps, crackers),  at home.

    • Set family rules & reward your child! Agree with your child on specific rules, make a game of it and offer a sticker/ excursion/ active play or walk in the park-forest-playground/ etc. as a reward – but do not reward eating a new food with offers of tastier foods. Try out some examples and introduce these rules: “We always drink water to quench our thirst”, “We always taste a new fruit or vegetable”, “We eat sweet/salty snacks only at special occasions (e.g. at parties)”, “We never eat in front of a TV/computer”, “We switch on the TV only to watch our favourite TV show and then switch it off”, or apply your own ideas!

    • Encourage & actively support your child! Serve water with every snack/ meal to your child. To increase acceptability of fruits/ vegetables, give him/ her only small portions (preferably those that are sweet, e.g. root vegetables) or mix them with yogurt/ oil/ seasonings or offer a new fruit/ vegetable disguised with a favourite one. Also, try out new physical activities which your child has not done yet (e.g. preschool gymnastics or tennis). Even if you have a strict schedule, try to include physical activities on a regular basis, without letting the weather change your plans. Dress your child with the appropriate clothing and play with him/her outside. Encourage your child to choose other activities instead of screen viewing activities.

    • Be a role model yourself! You are the most important role model for your child. Limit your own sedentary time, drink water to quench your thirst, eat healthy snacks and be physically active yourself, showing your child how much you enjoy it. Ask your child to do the same thing, together with you! Do you have older children? Talk to them about how they can be a role model for their preschool siblings!

  • Make it a family habit! Retain all these good family practices. It may take a while to establish them, but then they can set you and your child up for a healthy life!