I Pack Healthy Foods But My Child Gets Junk Food With Her Friends. How Can I Ensure This Doesn't Happen?

Question: I pack healthy foods but my child gets junk food with her friends. Is there anything I can do to ensure that doesn't happen?

Answer: If you pack healthy foods for your children, but they do end up eating junk foods when they're with their friends, understand that you can't control everything that goes on and everything your child eats when they're away from home. The best thing you can do is certainly create a nice healthy environmentfor eating at home so that your child really understands what healthy eating is about, and encourage your child to become more active in preparing meals, preparing snacks, and even packing lunches to take away from home.

Kids tend to eat what they have an investment in preparing. If children get involved in preparing their own meals and their own snacks, and packing their own lunches, they have much more of an investment in eating what they help prepare. So understanding that kids really do like to eat healthy foods, and particularly understand what your children's favorite foods are will help ensure your children make better choices when they're out of the house.

You want to involve your children, you want to pack their favorite foods, and really take advantage of the foods they like that are healthy. A lot of parents will say that they pack healthy foods, but ask your children to get involved in preparing them, but also ask them what they like and make sure that those kinds of foods are readily available for your children.

Also be a good role model. You know, if kids see parents and their families eating a healthy diet, they'll be much more likely to develop healthier tastes, even when they're away from home.