Present for dinner at another family’s house, I witnessed a father telling his nine year old daughter to put down her plate because she had eaten enough.
While his daughter’s cheeks burned bright red and hot tears rolled down her face, he promptly left the room muttering something about her weight.
The girl’s mother made every effort to soothe the child, but I imagine the damage had already been done.
Image by xenia, morgueFile.com
With the ever-present reality of eating disorders and body dissatisfaction before us, helping our children develop healthy attitudes toward food and their bodies is crucial for their long-term health and wellbeing.
Image by hotblack, morgueFile.com
Ways we can help our children develop healthy eating habits include:
• Model healthy eating We are our children’s first role models. What they see us do, they will often do themselves.
• Provide healthy options Come mealtime and snack time, providing healthy options will ensure our kids get the good stuff.
• Eat meals at regular times Eating regularly helps to ensure we are not so hungry that we overeat and overload our digestive systems.
• Involve your kids in the process Encouraging your little ones to help prepare meals allows you time to bond and learn about the value of good food as a team.
• Avoid buying soft drinks Keeping properly hydrated is crucial to healthy eating. Have each member of the family choose their own drink bottle. Keep these topped up with water and bring them out at mealtimes.
• Use small spoons and forks Smaller bite sizes help us to eat slower than we usually would. When we eat slowly, we give our bodies time to register ‘fullness’. Goodbye overeating.
• Get physical Physical activity is good for both the mind and body. Rally the troops and get those muscles moving.
How do you encourage healthy eating habits in your home? Share your thoughts in the ‘Comment Box’.