Parents play the biggest role in their children’s healthy habits. When parents keep foods around the house that are high in saturated fats and sugars it can enable their child to fall into poor eating habits. The same concept can also be applied to physical activity patterns. When parents allow children to have constant access to TV, video games, and computers, it builds an environment for children to do very little physical activity. It is important to keep television out of children’s bedrooms and limit overall time spent on screen time to no more than 1-2 productive hours.
Outside of what type of food or activity is available to the children, parents play an important role in modeling behavior. Children often imitate the behaviors of their parents. Make sure you are being active and eating healthy.
There are many other influences on children’s eating and activity habits. Caretakers, schools, media, and friends are a few. Talk with your children’s caretakers about encouraging healthy eating and physical activity during their time with them. Become active in your school’s PTA to encourage healthy options for school lunches and snacks. Speak to your children about physical activity and healthy eating. This knowledge can help children feel empowered and they will often make the right decisions on their own.Parents play the biggest role in their children’s healthy habits. When parents keep foods around the house that are high in saturated fats and sugars it can enable their child to fall into poor eating habits. The same concept can also be... More
Carol Cottrill answered:
Top 10 Nutrition Tips for Parents
Top 10 Nutrition Tips for Parents Set a positive example—your children learn from you. Shop together, try new foods and recipes together, and above all else, eat together. Offer a variety of foods, and allow your children to develop a... More
- Set a positive example—your children learn from you. Shop together, try new foods and recipes together, and above all else, eat together.
- Offer a variety of foods, and allow your children to develop a taste for new and different foods.
- Start with small portions. A proper child’s portion is ¼ to ½ of the size of an adult portion.
- Don’t insist that children finish all the food on their plate. Let your child develop internal cues in determining fullness—to eat when hungry and to stop when full. Don’t praise a clean plate.
- Limit starchy snacks in-between meals that lead to calorie overload and disinterest in real food. Aim for 1-2 wholesome snacks per day, spaced out 2 hours or more before a meal.
- Balance snacks to include a protein and a starch. For example, add peanut butter to a whole grain cracker to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
- Create a relaxing atmosphere for meal times. Turn off the television and the cell phones. Promote family conversation, and do not rush. Teach your children to respect the sanctity of eating together.
- Don’t use food as a reward. Instead, show your love with attention and kind words.
- Get your children to bed on time. Missing out on sleep disrupts your child’s hormonal balance, increasing the hormones that make them hungry while decreasing the hormones that make them feel full.
- Keep your kids moving…especially away from the television and computer screen. The simple act of natural outdoor play is all the exercise a young child should need, and it encourages healthy, real-world relationships.