611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

Health Choice Integrated Care crisis Line
1-877-756-4090

NurseWise 24-Hour Crisis Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530



SEABHS
611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

NurseWise 24-Hr Crisis Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530


powered by centersite dot net

Getting Started
Here are some forms to get started. These can be printed and brought with you so that you can pre-fill out some known info ahead of time. More...


Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Too Much Takeout Food Threatens Kids' HealthMom-to-Be's High Blood Sugar May Raise Baby's Odds for Heart DefectsFamily Meals Serve Up Better Behaved KidsTech at Bedtime May Mean Heavier KidsNew Hope for Kids With Multiple Food AllergiesHeath Tip: Give Age-Appropriate ToysPrenatal Sugar Intake May Increase Asthma Risk in OffspringMoms' Soda Habit in Pregnancy May Boost Kids' Odds for AsthmaPreventing Childhood Accidents at HomeDating Violence Tied to Spankings in ChildhoodSmartphone Pics Help Docs ID Kids' Skin ConditionMore Than Half Today's Children Expected to Be Obese at 35Time Management for Busy Families60 Percent of U.S. Kids Could Be Obese by Age 35Health Tip: Is Stress Interfering With Your Child's Sleep?Health Tip: Travel Safely With a ChildShaming Overweight Kids Only Makes Things WorseFlu Shot Could Help Your Kid Avoid HospitalHealth Tip: Safety Advice for the HolidaysAccurate Diagnosis Seen With Photographs of Skin ConditionsIf Dad Has Depression, Kids Might Develop It, TooKids Still Getting Risky Painkiller After TonsillectomySport Sampling in Children Tied to More Exercise in AdolescenceMusic, Video Help Sixth-Graders Master Hands-Only CPRChildhood Spanking Could Heighten Adult Mental Health WoesHealth Tip: Prevent Germs at the Doctor's OfficeInfluenza Vaccines in Pediatric ERs Likely Cost-EffectiveCooling Down Sibling Rivalries When They Heat UpDoes All That Social Media Time Harm Young Minds?Helping Children Cope When a Mass Tragedy Strikes'Good Ole Days' Were Better for Kids' Health, Adults SayTV Ads Still Push Unhealthy Foods at KidsSchool-Based Food Co-op Tied to Improved Diets in ChildrenWorking With Your School NurseChildren of Immigrants Less Likely to be Up-to-Date on ShotsHealth Tip: Have Fun on Halloween, Despite AsthmaHelmets Too Rarely Used in Baseball and SoftballKids' High Blood Pressure Often OverlookedKeep Halloween Spooky, But SafeKids' Food Allergies, Especially to Peanuts, Are on the RiseHealth Tip: Talk To Your Kids About a TragedyHealth Tip: Defining CyberbullingASA: Botox Injections Beneficial for Migraine in ChildrenTrauma Takes a Toll on Half of U.S. KidsMedical Marijuana Won't Help Most Sick KidsScoliosis Screenings Can Help Catch Spine Problem EarlyArthritis Can Strike ChildrenPlan an Allergy-Safe Halloween for Your ChildHappier Mealtimes, Healthier Eating for KidsAAP Releases List of Often-Unnecessary Tests
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Care
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)

Happier Mealtimes, Healthier Eating for Kids

HealthDay News
by -- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
Updated: Oct 12th 2017

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Oct. 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Parents who struggle to get their children to follow a healthy diet may want to make dinnertime a pleasant experience, new research suggests.

The study found a happier emotional atmosphere during meals allows preschoolers to make healthier food choices.

"Having more positive mealtimes, where people are enjoying themselves, where there's mutual warmth and engagement, makes it a little bit easier for children to approach healthy foods," said lead author Jaclyn Saltzman, a doctoral candidate in the department of human development and family studies at the University of Illinois.

And that's especially important in young kids, she noted.

"The eating behaviors you have early in childhood can track later on," Saltzman said in a university news release.

"Preschoolers are unique because they are on solid foods with a diet similar to adults, but their food choices are still mostly under the control of their parents. We really want to see what effect parents are having, and this gives us that window of opportunity to see that," she added.

For the study, 74 parents of preschoolers between 3 and 5 years old answered two questionnaires about mealtimes over the course of about two years.

During this time, researchers conducted a home visit to observe the family during mealtime. They tracked the positive and negative emotions expressed by both the mothers and their children.

After watching how mothers and their kids interacted, the researchers found that a more pleasant or happy meal had a positive effect on what the children consumed.

Overall, children ate, on average, about one serving more of fruit, vegetables or a soy-protein product during more positive mealtimes, the study revealed.

"When you have a negative family mealtime, you don't want to sit there and try a new thing, enjoy a new texture, or cajole your child into trying something new. You just want to get through it," Saltzman explained.

"We were happy to see that families who are more positive at their mealtimes have kids who seem to be eating a little more healthy food," she said.

The researchers also considered how to help parents, who may not always be feeling very happy, create a more positive mood during mealtimes.

They found that including children in grocery shopping as well as meal planning and preparation help generate more positive emotions during meals.

"First of all, I wouldn't tell parents to just be more positive, to just slap a smile on your face, because in the face of a picky-eating preschooler or any other mealtime challenge, that's just not going to work," Saltzman said. "But there are several things parents can do."

Here are her suggestions:

  • Be clear about what is expected during meals.
  • Establish a routine, eating at about the same time and in the same room or setting each day.
  • Give kids jobs. Assign individual tasks, such as setting the table.
  • Remind kids to express themselves with words and not scream when they are upset.
  • Don't force it. Parents should encourage their children to try new foods, but after several tries it may be time to move on. Kids don't have to like everything.
  • Stay calm. Parents should try techniques such as breathing exercises to help them keep their emotions in check.

The study was published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more on childhood nutrition.