It’s hard enough being a part, but finding ways to encourage your children to eat better, exercise, and develop healthy habits is another whole challenge. The idea of children actually eating enough servings of fresh fruits and vegetables not only sounds implausible, but them finding interest in such food proves difficult.
The wide variety of boxed and processed foods available drastically influences and molds a child’s perception of food. Even if you’re instituting a state of healthy eating at home, you can’t control what other children at school eat or what the school cafeteria and vending machines offer. Denial of unhealthy but alluring foods creates a negative perception towards healthy eating for children. This is the last result any parents wants.
How can parents fight unhealthy habits that could potentially lead to diabetes, obesity, and other diseases? Despite the effort and struggle, continue to fight for a life of health for your children. Use these tips as leverage to fight for your children’s livelihood.
1. Get Moving on the Mountains!
If you have trouble controlling your children’s eating habits, then invest more in physical exercise, especially during the winter. The colder seasonal months tend to keep children and parents indoors doing little to no exercise. Even if you and the kids are playing sports such as basketball, indoor soccer, or even wrestling during the winter, find other ways to stay active. There are days, depending where you live, when a nice winter hike could be possible. It’s never too late to learn how to ski or snowboard. Plan a trip to an inexpensive mountain resort not too far from home. Invest in in ski or snowboard lessons for you and your children to do together. The time spent learning a new sport while getting some much needed exercise will keep them away from video games, frequent naps on the couch, and overeating.
2. Don’t Reward Kids with Food
Rewarding or punishing children with foods does not constitute good parenting in this day and age. Of course every person wants to reward themselves with a nice treat after a long week of working out and staying disciplined. But when it comes to healthy eating, a system of rewards and punishments relating to food creates a negative perception towards eating good and bad foods. Instead of rewarding them with treats for good behavior or grades at school, maybe spend the money from Christmas by searching through a holiday gift guide for winter ski or snowboard gear. Reward your children with food or items that encourage them to exercise and eat healthy.
3. Take a Cooking Class Together
Avoid isolating activities centering on health between you and your children. Instead, do activities for parents and children alike. Perhaps taking a cooking class or joining a community garden would serve as a good time to bond with your children and raise healthy eating food awareness. Find ways to teach children how to cook. These classes or gardens educate people who are willing and ready to learn about good food. Most individuals in or just graduated from college are too lazy to cook or don’t know how to. Therefore, they spend countless dollars eating out at restaurants or fast food establishments.
4. Keep Food Journals
Encouraging your children to read and write not only raises their vocabulary, increases intelligence, but that same daily task can be used to raise their healthy eating awareness. A simple food journal used to record what’s eaten on a daily basis will certainly bring their attention to bad eating habits. Not only can this journal be utilized to isolate eating problems, learn about healthy portion control, but it could be an opportunity to encourage more learning about food overall.
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