Children need to learn healthy eating habits at home. By teaching children healthy eating habits and be the model as a mom, you can help your children maintain a healthy weight and normal growth. Healthy eating habits which your children pick when they are young will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle when they become adults.
As a parent, you can encourage your kids to evaluate their food choice and physical activity habits. Here are some tips and guidelines to get you started.
Encourage your children to eat slowly. A child can detect hunger and fullness better when they eat slowly. Before offering a second helping or serving, ask your child to wait at least 15 minutes to see if they are truly hungry. This will give the brain time to register to the fullness. Also, that second helping should be much smaller than the first.
Be a good role model. You don’t have to be perfect all the time, but if kids see you trying to eat right and get physically active, they will take notice of your efforts. You’ll send a message that good health is important to your family.
Continuous snacking may lead to overeating. Meanwhile, snacks that are planned at specific times during the day can be part of a nutritious diet, without spoiling a child’s appetite at meal times. You should make snacks as nutritious as possible without depriving your children of occasional chips or cookies, especially at parties or other social events.
Encourage your children to drink more water. Over consumption of sweetened drinks and sodas has been linked to increased rate of obesity in children.
Get the whole family moving for healthy bodies. Plan times for everyone exercise together. Take walks, ride bikes, go swimming, gardening or play hide-and-seek outside. Everyone will benefit from the exercise and the time spent together.
Be realistic about eating goals. Setting realistic goals and limits are keys to adopting any new behaviour. Small steps and gradual changes can make a big difference in your health over time. So, start small and build up.
Limit TV, video game and computer time. These habits lead to a sedentary lifestyle and excessive snacking, which increase risks of obesity and cardiovascular disease. Limit screen time to two hours per day.
Encourage physical activities that they will really enjoy. Every child is unique. Let your child experiment with different activities until they find something that they really love doing.
Make dinner time a family time. When everyone eats together as a family, there’s less chance for children to eat the wrong foods or too much snacks . Get your kids involved in cooking and planning meals. Everyone develops good eating habits together and the quality time with the family will be an added bonus.
Make a game of reading food labels. The whole family will learn what’s good for their health and be more conscious of what they eat. It’s a habit that helps change behaviour for a lifetime.