(HealthDay News) -- Well-meaning family and friends may push your children to clean the plate or offer dessert as a reward, but those aren't the messages you want to send.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests:

Bring the subject up with the adult, explaining that you're trying to teach your child about healthier eating.

Suggest to the adult that the child be offered something else -- such as a sweet note or a fun activity -- that doesn't involve food.

Stay positive, encouraging kids to make healthier choices and avoid unwelcome food.

Talk to older children about how to respond appropriately to offers of food.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.