Thursday, May 7, 2009

*** Be an Example for Your Kids Eating Habits ***

One of the best parts of having children is watching them mirror everything you do. It's definitely one of the joys associated with being parent. It doesn't matter if you're walking, doing your hair, the way you sit when you watch television, at one time or another they will notice. This being said, you have to be an example for them when it comes to eating habits as well.

In a fast paced world it's real easy to forget and instead hit the fast food restaurants loading up with all kinds of trans fat. Now, you aren't going to be able to do this 100% of the time, but it would be nice if you could right? So below we threw together a few tips, tricks, and methods that will help you along the way. Even if you've never thought about how important this is until now.

The Routine

Almost everyone loves a good routine, but having one before you eat dinner is very important in your child's future. Even something as little as washing your hands before handling or eating food can go a long way. Then of course sitting down with your family everyday at a certain time is crucial to their outlook of a daily plan as they get older. It's a good way to start a routine, you just have to make sure you stick with it.

Once that is set into place then it's time to move onto the food. To give your children a real sense of self-worth, take them shopping with you to the grocery. Taking a ride or walk through the produce section can teach them a lot about a person's overall health. Don't be afraid to let them help with dinner. You would be surprised how exhilarating that time spent together can be for all of you.

When the food is ready and everyone sits down to eat, remember, your children will be watching. So cut and chew your food as you would teach them to do. If you are chewing slow, so will they. Cutting in a specific direction? They will as well, but most likely after they've tried every other way their minds can think of doing. However, the chewing part is extremely important for their digestive system.

The Discussion

We all eat outside of our three meals a day and at some point you need to have a little talk about it with your kids. Everyone tells you to substitute carrot sticks and 100% juice for chips and soda right? Well, we're going to do the same. You should also discuss the moderation levels of sweets of any kind and make sure this one is repeated upon as the years go by.

Doing all this will not only give your children the head start they need in daily life, but will also keep the family life more like a family. It's so important to eat together, and if by chance they notice you don't eat "everything all gone," don't be afraid to tell them why. Listen, when it's all said and done they don't have to like everything, but giving them a variety of food to choose from will help both of you in the long run.

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