In many households, one person is in charge of food shopping -- and has lots of power.
Here are some tips to do the job well:
Get rid of your own misconceptions: Whole-wheat bread and low-fat ice cream might have tasted like cardboard when you were a child, but many products have greatly improved.
Avoid open-ended choices: Instead of asking, "What do you want to eat?" offer two or three nutritious options.
Don't reward non-eaters: If a child doesn't eat dinner, no favorite snack later in the evening. If you can't stand seeing him hungry, offer something "plain" such as a piece of fruit.
Don't replenish treats right away: Junk food and sugary drinks should be for special occasions, not part of the everyday supply.
Create easy access to produce: Wash and slice fruits and vegetables and store them in visible spots on the counter or in the refrigerator.
Share what good foods can do now: Kids may not relate to the word "health" or talk of future wellness. But they'll like hearing about strong bones and muscles, smart brains, clear skin and shiny hair.
Plan ahead: Prepare a weekly menu before going to the grocery store. You're more likely to stick to a list, eat healthier and save money.
DAILY PRESS (NEWPORT NEWS, VA.)