Good Role Model-Set Example
When you are living in the age of media that bombards teens and toddlers with advertisements of the whole gamut of unhealthy foods that promotes obesity and fad diets, you are likely to be worried about your child’s health. Well, there’s good news.
Children are born impersonators, so it is your duty to “Be a Good Role Model”. Like sponges, children possess an astounding capability to absorb and to do as they see other do. Even at a pre-school age, they love to mimic their parents’ likes & dislikes,manners, habits, physical activities and eating habits. Take advantage of this and put it to good use, by teaching your children healthy habits by setting an example they can follow. Here are a few easy tips to inject your child with an appreciation of healthy habits.
- Starting early: If your child understands the mere difference between a ‘healthy diet’ and ‘junk food’, and incorporates it in his life, you wouldn’t need to break poor eating habits when he grows up. As the famous adage goes- “Strike while the iron is still hot”, introduce your children to different types of foods and flavors along with foods that they already love. According to researchers, this is a wise approach to familiarizing kids to healthy wholesome foods.
- Eating together: Eat with your kids as much possible. Set an example by serving fruit salads, creative vegetables and don’t serve them anything you don’t eat yourself . Give your kid, healthy options in whole grains and cereals, there are so many great tasting cereals available with 1/2 the sugar content and they taste good too! Eating as a family gives you an opportunity to talk about their day, what their friends are up to and to discuss plans for the weekend. Dinner time is a great time to set the example of healthy eating habits. Engage the kids in conversations such as the advantages of a healthy meal and how good it tastes, discuss healthier fast foods options and why unhealthy choices are not a good idea.
- Ensure you eat healthy: Make sure most of the snacks and meals you have in your pantry are healthy and nutritious and offer some nutritional value. No, you don’t have to ditch the all of the yummy items i.e. mac & cheese, just make a healthier variety by replacing whole milks with skim or 1 % products.. You can try fruits and fat free frozen yogurts as a substitute to toppings, sprinkles and ice creams.
- Make it easy: Children usually prefer those foods that are easily available, familiar, and do not demand any effort before eating. Encourage the habit of eating greens and fibrous foods by making the process convenient like a sugary snack. For instance, choose little bags and place baby carrots inside a readily accessible refrigerator shelf, keep bags of nuts, popcorn and pretzels in the car for after school snack instead of driving through MickyD’s.
- No more junk treats: Parents often bribe their kids with junk food for a good deed. This activity plants an idea in a child’s brain that unhealthy foods are more appealing and tastier than healthy ones. Instead, promote the thought that grapes, apples and oranges are far more healthy and delicious than calorie loaded junk food.
Why not start your children out by learning from example, by teaching them to be positive, optimistic, and hopeful. Teach them that life is full of wonderful possibilities waiting to be explored, and that they too can achieve anything as long as they believes in themselves. Do this by practicing it yourself, and you will both experience tremendous fulfillment.
Finally, set an example because your kids, they are smart enough to know, if it is so bad for them, then why are you eating it. Let them know, if you eat healthy, you’ll stay healthy!