You are what you eat, so it follows that if you teach your children healthy eating habits, they’ll be just that—healthy!
In the United States, childhood obesity is growing into a serious problem. Many parents and guardians are rightfully concerned that their child will suffer health issues because of poor eating habits.
If you want to help your child enjoy a healthy childhood and grow into a healthy adult, it is critical to teach your children healthy eating habits early and often.
In my experience as a doctor, I have seen many parents and guardians struggle to help their children eat healthy. These tips are for anyone who is facing a similar challenge.
Model Healthy Eating Habits
Children learn a lot by observing the adults in their lives. As a role model, you have a responsibility to practice the habits that you want your child to practice. To teach your child healthy eating habits, you have to learn healthy eating habits yourself.
Here are some ways you can encourage yourself and your child:
- Keep plenty of fruits and vegetables in the house.
- Drink plenty of water and encourage your child to do the same.
- Buy lean meats and add variety to your protein to keep things interesting.
- Look up healthy alternatives to your child’s favorite meals.
- Choose whole grain bread over processed white bread.
- Try new snacks, like popcorn or nuts instead of potato chips.
You don’t have to implement all these changes at once. In fact, by slowly adopting new habits, you can make the new habits easier to maintain, for yourself and your child. Small changes can lead to success!
Teach Your Children Healthy Eating by Limiting High-Calorie Foods
In addition to stocking healthy foods at home and encouraging healthy eating habits, you can also curb the health risks of childhood obesity by limiting access to unhealthy foods. You do not have to completely eliminate high-calorie food and drink from your diet—make them infrequent treats and rewards.
Here are some foods and drinks to avoid:
- Soft drinks (including sports drinks)
- Potato chips
- Ice cream
There are many more foods that you should limit. You can also help your child be more mindful about their eating habits by discouraging eating in front of the TV or computer. When your child is distracted from their food, it is easy for them to overeat and make poor decisions about what they are eating.
Ask about How to Teach Your Children Healthy Eating during Your Next Visit
Children are impressionable. The things we teach them while they are young will stick with them for the rest of their lives. Showing them how to make healthy food choices early will ensure that they live a long, healthy, and happy life.
Do you have any questions about your child’s diet or eating habits? Talk to me during your next visit. I am happy to answer any questions that you have. To set up an appointment, call 305-777-3505 or contact us online.