Parenting has taken a huge turn with the influence of social media. There is so much information out there readily available, and it’s literally at your fingertips. There are thousands of books, websites, and blogs dedicated to sharing ideas on raising kids. It can be overwhelming to think about what to change when so many habits are already formed within us from our own upbringing. However, utilizing and incorporating one idea at a time can make a huge difference in the long run. This process of setting goals and incorporating new ideas helps you and your family progress.
Forming healthy habits can mean doing what fits your family and your personality within reason. Improvement is good and so is discipline, but it is always advisable to avoid extremes in any way. Your children are always watching and listening so it is important to make sure when they see you, you are setting positive example for them to emulate when it comes to eating properly and exercising.
This might sound like common sense, but as I did my research for this article I saw that my next piece of advice comes from a very common problem. Your children are not pets! They do not need to be rewarded with food. This misuse of food can really confuse a child who is trying to learn the difference between a reward and overeating. Telling your child that if they eat their veggies they will get a treat sends the message that veggies are a punishment and treats are a reward. It is important to know that healthy food is rewarding to the body above eating junk as a reward. Junk food can make you feel lethargic after the sugar high wears off, what kind of a reward is that? However, if you eat an apple your blood sugar is able to remain more stable instead of shooting up and then crashing.
Your behaviors and choices will affect you kids and their health. In fact, a recent study found that kids as young as toddlers hold food preferences based on their parents’ dietary choices.” They are watching you so make sure you are setting a good example for them to follow. An easy way to do this is to keep healthy options in abundance around the house. If you are trying to abstain from eating junk DO NOT BUY IT! And do not fill candy bowls all over your house so your temptation can follow you from room to room. Kids and adults can form better habits by simply leaving out better options around the house. Fresh cut fruit or vegetables, low fat popcorn, or granola bites can be a great start!
It isn’t going to be easy to break your old unhealthy eating patterns in your family but it will be worth it. Once you form a new habit in the home you will all feel better and be filled with energy!