Monday, August 16, 2010

Be an Example for Your Kids Eating Habits

A popular country song called “I’ve Been Watching You” is the story of a man who realizes that his son is imitating him—his good habits and his bad habits. If you want your children to adapt healthy eating habits, then you must set the example. Here are some ways you can use this priceless teaching tool with your children:

1. Include a variety of foods on your plate. How can you convince your children to eat their vegetables if you don’t put them on your plate?

2. If you leave something off your plate talk about why. Let your children know its okay to not always like certain foods or if you're allergic discuss that as well.

3. Avoid junk foods like chips and soda and opt for healthy snacks like carrot sticks and 100% fruit juice.

4. Shop together. Shopping is part of food preparation and a child can learn a lot in the produce section.

5. Always wash your hands before handling food and encourage your child to do the same.

6. When having sweets and treats like ice cream talk about moderation and portion sizes and not over eating, count scoops into the bowl, etc. If you tell your child a food is forbidden they will likely want it more. This may spawn habits of sneaking treats and then bingeing on them.

7. Avoid eating during television programs or in front of the television. It’s harder to keep track of how much you are eating when you are distracted by the television.

8. Drink plenty of water each day.

9. Have regular meals each day. If you skip lunch your child is likely to do the same. With sports activities, school and your professional responsibilities, you may have to make adjustments as far as the time you eat. But make sure your children understand that all three meals (yes, even breakfast) are important.

10. Take your time and chew your food. Often adults are in a hurry and kids pick up on this habit as well.

Author Denise Nero, Owner of