With a childhood obesity problem in this country, it is irresponsible to not pay attention to what your child is eating. But how are you careful not too create complexes and possibly even eating disorders? Here are a few guidelines for creating healthy eating habits.
1) Monkey see, monkey do. If you want your kids to make healthy decisions you MUST set the example. I don't think I need to elaborate on this.
2) Don't get caught up on the number. Never get caught up on the number on the scale. For one reason, just because you are lighter or thinner does not equal healthier. It also creates a bad habit of referring to the scale to judge someone's health. The scale does not account for a lot of things that need to be taken in to consideration like muscle mass and bone structure. Putting kids on scales can also create a huge feeling of disappointment when a certain number isn't reached. Promote instead, judging your health on how you feel rather than looks or weight.
3) Do NOT restrict Calories! When dealing with a child who may be a little overweight, or just with kids in general do not regulate amounts of food. Instead regulate the QUALITY of food. If your kid is hungry, let them eat! Let them eat as much as they want, as long as it's nutritious healthy food. Avoid sugar, processed foods, and boxed foods. You will find that when you eat high quality foods, it doesn't matter how much you eat.
4) Do NOT treat Exercise as a Punishment. Never use exercise as a punishment or a result of your child's weight or appearance. Meaning, now we need to start running because you are getting heavy. Instead make it a fun activity. Most kids will not enjoy running on a treadmill, but instead they would love to kick a soccer ball around for an hour with their parents. Be creative, come up with activities like scavenger hunts, hide and seek, capture the flag, red rover, anything to get your kid outside and moving and away from the TV.
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