Children look to their parents as their idols and role models. This does not just apply to how they should act or what is expected of them; this also applies to what they eat at every meal. Over the years, childhood obesity has been on the rise. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1/3 of adults are obese, and the rate of obesity in children has more than tripled during the last three decades. Changes need to be made, and it needs to start with parents and other adult family members/caregivers. When children see that their role models are making healthy eating choices then
they will be more inclined to do the same.
Tips for Moms & Dads:
- Be the role model! Eat the way you would expect them to eat. (http://www.growingraw.com/kids-eating-healthy.html)
- Teach your kids to eat slowly rather than shovel in their food; this will help them to listen to their little bellies so that when they are full, they stop eating.
- Let your children help you cook. If they know what’s in it and know that they helped to make it, they may be more inclined to try it.
- Allow your children to help choose a healthy meal for dinner, and to help the process go faster, let them assist you while cooking. Make cooking fun!
- Set up an eating schedule with your children, so they learn to eat at appropriate times during the day.
- Provide small healthy snacks between meals to maintain an active metabolism, and prevent overeating during each meal.
- Teach your kids to stop eating when they want to; don’t force them to finish their meal if they don’t want to.
- Control portion sizes! Little kids only need little meals. Children’s stomachs are about the size of the fist!
- Introduce vegetables into their diet before fruits. Most children prefer the taste of fruit because it is sweeter. So do your part as their role model and show them that vegetables are just as good and very important to their health. (http://www.weightlossexercisediet.com/nutrition-kids )
- Parents, you are the key to modeling a balanced diet. Know your facts and teach your children to be healthy eaters!
Written by Kaitlyn Puharic