LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: 10 food tips for healthier kids.

Sometimes a new year brings with it renewed motivation from parents to change a few things — and so in the month of January we’re talking about food. And no, this doesn’t involve a new diet, instead, a number of ways you can raise healthier kids by following some basic guidelines.

Child care experts with KIDSHEALTH.ORG say, they came up with a list of ten tips to help parents get into a better groove when it comes to food. These tips are very simple to follow, and researchers say following some or all of them will truly help you and your family eat better and maintain a healthy weight. The ten tips include:

*Parents need to control what foods to buy and serve. Kids won’t go hungry and will eat what’s available. Now, that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to buy their favorite snack, but don’t be bullied into buying a lot of bad foods.

*Schedule regular meal and snack times.

*Quit the “clean plate club.” Let kids stop eating when they feel they’ve had enough.

*Drink calories count. Soda and other sweetened drinks add extra calories and get in the way of good nutrition.

*Put sweets in their place. Occasional sweets are fine but don’t turn dessert into the main reason for eating dinner.

*Keep food away for TV and computer time. This helps kids avoid mindless snacking.

*Teach kids food is not love. Parents, try not to use food as a way to always reward kids.

*Rewrite the kids’ menu. This means when eating out, get your kids to try new foods — and not always order the standard hot dog, chicken tenders, or pizza. Maybe start by letting them taste what you ordered or an appetizer.

*Start healthy eating habits young.

*Kids copy mom and dad — so be a role model and eat healthy yourself.

Some of these tips may be tough to follow, but most are easy — that can dramatically make a difference in how much bad food your kids eat on a daily basis.