Healthy Eating Habits | How Parents Can Prevent Childhood Obesity
Healthy eating habits are no different. The way parents talk about food, cook meals and eat are the most important influence of developing healthy eating habits on a child. Children watch and imitate adults and look to them to learn everything from saying please and thank-you to fitness and nutrition behavior.
Children can also pick up on their parents’ attitudes about food. As role models, parents need to make sure they’re demonstrating a healthy attitude toward food so their children do, too.
How Parent’s Influence Children’s Eating Habits?
When it comes to causes for the rise in childhood obesity, there have been many possible culprits: increasing portion sizes, the easy availability of high fat, nutrient poor foods, and fewer opportunities for physical activity. But what about the influence parents play when it comes healthy eating habits?
Parents not only give their genetic make-up to their child, they can also have influence through the way they parent their children. In fact, parents may be able to buffer the impact of larger, environmental factors on whether or not a child becomes overweight.
Studies have shown that parents who engage in healthier eating and activity habits are more likely to have children who mimic these behaviors as they grow into adulthood. Thus, in order to get children to develop healthier eating and activity behaviors, parents must first engage in these healthy eating habits themselves.
Tips On How To Influence Healthy Eating Habits In Kids
Creating a positive eating environment
Family meals take place in the home (or the “eating environment”). This eating environment can have a positive or negative impact on your children’s eating habits. Here are a few tips to help you create a positive eating environment for your children.
Have regular meal and snack times
Having regular meal and snack times everyday creates a healthy routine. If your children eat whenever they feel like it, they may not be hungry when it’s time for a scheduled meal or snack. They may also overeat during the day.
Sitting together as a family to eat
Children who eat meals with their family tend to eat healthier foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They are also at lower risk for becoming overweight. However, children who eat in front of the TV tend to make poorer food choices. Eating meals in front of the TV should be avoided as this can lead to overeating and a higher risk of childhood obesity.
Avoid pressuring your children to eat
Insisting that your children eat certain foods may actually cause them to eat less. As a parent, you are responsible for providing healthy food choices to your children. Your children should be allowed to decide how much to eat based on how hungry they feel. Are mealtimes a struggle? Say goodbye to picky eating with these tips.
Avoid using food as a reward or punishment
Eating is a way to nourish our bodies. Using food as a reward or punishment may lead to unhealthy eating habits. Offer a variety of healthy foods and let your children serve themselves without any pressure.
Having no junk food at home
Make sure to buy healthy foods when you shop. The foods available in your fridge, freezer, cupboards and pantry are what your children will get used to eating. Use this menu planning form to help you plan healthy meals as a family.
Make healthy foods the usual choice
What you eat sets an example for what your children will eat. Enjoy foods from the four Food Groups in Canada’s Food Guide every day such as vegetables, fruit, whole grain products, low fat dairy products, lean meats, legumes, eggs and fish.
Stay tuned for FitaCon’s next event which focuses on health, nutrition, and fitness for kids.
FitaCon upcoming event focuses on ” Health, Nutrition and Fitness For Kids” hence it will be the best of amalgamation of doctors and certified professionals from respective arena offering various tips, guidance and suggestions on health, nutrition and fitness for kids.
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