As a parent, you play a significant role in creating your children’s healthy eating habits. This includes the influence over where the meals take place and what types of meals are consumed by you and your family. It’s vital to shape healthy consumption habits early on with children, this will determine the types of eating habits they grow into later in life. By combining healthy habits with positive experiences, your influence as a mom on your family’s health can be very impactful.
Create Positive Eating Habits
- Keep your home stocked with healthy food options. It may be easy to buy processed meals that are quick to make, but be aware of what you’re putting in your cart. Your family will get used to what types of foods are available in the kitchen. Constantly stocking up on fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-rich products will ensure they’re making healthy choices even when you’re not around.
- Implement routine meal and snack times. Giving your family the freedom of eating whenever they desire can lead to unhealthy habits. Creating a schedule gives stability and helps prevent your family from overeating throughout the day.
- Consume meals with the family. One survey found that nine to 14-year-olds who ate dinner with their families consumed more fruits and vegetables and less fried food and sodas. Doing so allows you to portion control and, ultimately, leads to better family relationships.
- Avoid using food as a reward. When one of your family members accomplishes a task, don’t offer a cookie or piece of candy as a reward. This will instill to your children that consuming unhealthy options is good. Try replacing it with a trip to the park or family game night.
Be a Healthy Role Model
- Make eating healthy a lifestyle. Whenever you eat, understand that your habits are setting an example for your children. Choose food groups, such as whole grain products, fruits, low-fat dairy, and protein, for a well-balanced meal. The chances of your children wanting to consume the same produce are high when your meal choice is consistent.
- Be aware of your unhealthy intake. If you’re craving carbs and sugars, it’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while. However, try reaching for a bowl of greek yogurt or trail mix instead of the typical ‘junk’ food. Little habits like switching out your coffee’s sugar with Stevia and choosing dark chocolate over milk chocolate will improve your health and the influence on your family.
- Practice healthy habits. Aside from eating right, living right is also important. Daily exercise promotes a healthy heart and body. Including your family in it makes working out an experience. It also teaches your children the importance of exercise and you’ll be satisfied when you start to see the outcome of its health benefits.