mysuperfoods

Super Starts Here.

What’s for lunch? Your kids are watching you.

on January 1, 2012

January first.  Notorious deal breaker.  Sending millions of us out to the rooftops, proclaiming the end of…something.  Nighttime snacking, avoiding the gym, carbs, 15 extra pounds, flabby arms.  If our children thought so negatively of themselves, would we promote it or try to talk them off the ledge?  Turns out, we should pay just as much attention to how we speak to ourselves as how we speak to our children.  Despite what you may think at bedtime, they are excellent listeners.

Although this makes me a little nervous, (do they really see me roll my eyes at the woman in the too-short skirt, crossing the street?) I mostly just want to show my children that I try to be kind to myself.  Study after study on children’s eating habits suggest that not only are early habits critical for later food choices, but examples set by parents on a regular, daily basis enable children to maintain healthy eating habits throughout their life.

Here are five easy ways to promote healthy food choices and promote better body image for your children this year:

1. Eat together.  Make mealtime fun and engaging.  It’ll bring your whole family together.  Literally.

2. Grocery shop with your children.  Easier said that done, of course.  But even if it’s once a week for 10 minutes, take your children to the store and let them pick out a new fruit or vegetable.  They will be excited to eat something they chose themselves.

3. Make a lot of healthy food available at home.  This helps guide your children’s choices, but doesn’t dictate them (something that inevitable backfires when they are out of your site.  Restricting or forbidding foods is never a good idea and has been recognized to lead to binging)

4. Drink more water!  This goes for everyone in the house.  Did you see our post the other day? (https://mysuperfoods.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/water-it-does-a-body-good/)

5. Don’t make food a punishment or a reward.  In a 2003 Eating Behaviors study, 122 adults documented their current eating habits and memories about food rules as kids. Those who had parents who used food to control behavior through rewards and punishments were more likely to diet and binge eat.  Make food interesting and fun and then leave it at that.  It’s food.  It’s energy.  Enjoy it, then move away and enjoy the rest of your day.

At the end of the day, none of these suggestions are difficult to impliment.  Even if you can’t impliment them everyday, small steps are a good start.   We can all do better to set a good example for our kids.  

Source: http://children.webmd.com/guide/kids-healthy-eating-habits and http://www.raisehealthyeaters.com/2011/05/what-rewarding-kids-with-food-looks-like-20-years-later/

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2 responses to “What’s for lunch? Your kids are watching you.

  1. Excellent! I totally agree! I wrote a blog the other day about my experience at a fast food restaurant, watching an obese family…it made me so sad…
    I also agree with the hydration! That is what month one of my detox is all about, getting hydrated.
    I hope some day to be the kind of parent who leads by example and never subscribe to the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality.
    Happy New Year!

    • mysuperfoods says:

      I read your blog entry on the obese family and have witnessed the same thing on numerous occasions, it makes me really sad as well. Even worse is when the parents are thin and eating a salad, yet the children are overweight or obese and eating something awful. It’s hard work to make sure your children eat healthy food most of the time, but that is our job as parents, isn’t it?

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