What is the theory behind this Healthy eating worksheet?
Healthy food is vital for a child’s growth. Children with restrictive food habits often display lack of interest in textured food items. According to the developmental model of food choice, human beings are accustomed to repel novel food items. In order to introduce healthy food into your child’s meal you should try gradual exposure to such food items. Because healthy meal leads to healthy mental and physical health that can further benefit in coping with stress and regulating emotions
How will the worksheet help?
This worksheet is targeted for children who are persnickety eaters and are between the ages of 4 to 10 years. The purpose of the worksheet is to inculcate a healthy diet into the child’s meal for better physical and mental growth. Instead of forcing the child to eat healthy. It is more beneficial to introduce it in two research based methods (positive reinforcement and gradual exposure).
How to use this worksheet?
This worksheet contains two sections, A and B. Section A contains a food classification table regarding types of food.
In section B there are two methods to practice healthy eating, both containing tables to work with.
In technique 2, a four-week time period is given to introduce one healthy food item at a time. (Check food classification in section A for information regarding types of food)
Expose it at least twice a day on different occasions to help your child in getting familiar with it. Once the child seems to accept its presence, make it more frequent. Mark the moment with a (√) to ensure that the child has consumed the desired food item.When that food item becomes that regular part of the child’s meal, move on to the next healthy food of your choice.
Before introducing any kind of novel food to your child, refer your child’s health care provider to make sure of any dietary restrictions (peanut allergies etc)
Healthy eating worksheet (PDF)
Some Food Classifications with examples are below
|Vegetables||e.g. Spinach, Carrot, Broccoli, Cabbage|
|Fruits||e.g. Apple Banana Pomegranate|
|Grains||e.g. Rice Cereal Oats|
|Protein food||e.g. Eggs fish meat lentils|
|Dairy||e.g. yogurt butter cheese|
|Healthy Fats||avocado olives etc.|
Boddy, G., Booth, A., & Worsley, A. (2019). What does healthy eating mean? Australian teachers’ perceptions of healthy eating in secondary school curricula. Health Education, 119(4), 277–290. https://doi.org/10.1108/he-04-2019-0018
Ogden, J. (2011). The psychology of eating: From healthy to disordered behavior. Wiley.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Healthy eating as you age: Know your food groups. National Institute on Aging. Retrieved October 10, 2022, from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/healthy-eating-you-age-know-your-food-groups
You can download this worksheet here.