Parents should eat with their children rather than cook their own special meals.

Herald Sun (Aust) 21 Sep 09

That’s one of the key recommendations of the authors of a new guide to healthy eating and lifestyles for families, created by the team behind the best-selling series of CSIRO diet books. The CSIRO Wellbeing Plan for Kids, released on September 28, is not focused on weight-loss or diet plans. Instead, it contains practical tips and solutions to common dilemmas with children, such as not liking vegetables, skipping breakfast or spending too much time watching TV . It also has more than 100 recipes, from breakfast to slower meals, as well as takeaway alternatives. These are dishes not just for children but for the whole family.

The importance of parents as role models is a recurring theme. And sitting down to the same meal is seen as vital. “The same basic healthy food should make up what children eat and what an adult eats,” co-author and research dietitian Dr Jane Bowen said. “The whole family should eat the same thing. Children don’t need special food. That reinforces to children picky-eating behaviour, and it’s also a lot of work for parents.”