One of the most difficult habits to stick with regularly is eating appropriate amounts of healthy food. This is often the reason why the majority of individuals who attempt to lose weight fail. They either won’t give up the junk food and/or they continue to eat excessively taking in far more calories than the body needs.
Not only is the obesity epidemic continuing to worsen for adults, but an often overlooked statistic is the rise in the number of overweight and obese children. Did you know that over the past 30 years childhood obesity has more than doubled? And in 2012 one out of three children were either overweight or obese.
What is truly unfortunate about this fact is that kids don’t really know the potential consequences of eating unhealthy and acquiring an excess amount of weight. Even if adults avoid reality, they at least understand the consequences of eating excessively and not getting a regular form of exercise.
Be Honest, Is Your Kid Overweight or Obese?
Children on the other hand don’t have a clue as to what will happen unless they are explicitly taught about health and nutrition. In other words, if parents don’t make it a priority to educate their children and provide healthy meals and snacks, then it can be rather easy for them to develop unhealthy eating habits.
If left unchecked, these unhealthy eating habits can lead kids into the land of obesity which could have been prevented if intervention would have taken place when the problem was first identified.
Therefore if you know your kids are not currently eating nutritiously, take it upon yourself to start turning that around.
Yes there may be complaints. Yes your kids may whine and/or argue depending on how well they deal with change or how bad their eating habits are. But keep in mind – It’s your house so it’s your rules. You are in charge of deciding what and when your children eat, at least until they turn eighteen years of age.
However keep in mind, you want this change in their nutrition to be a positive one that’s going to benefit their health so yelling demands at them may not be the best course of action.
Bring up this topic in a manner so they understand the reasons why you want to make these changes. You really want them to buy into healthy nutrition so this won’t be a daily struggle to get them eating in a nutritious manner. Pictures and videos of health related issues due to obesity may help immensely with motivating your children to jump onboard.
It may help to start by weaning them off the junk food like soda and chips especially if they eat these types of snacks regularly or even worse, daily.
Maybe at first you have your children focus on eating healthy meals, snacks, and drinks Monday through Saturday, then on Sunday they can have a treat of their choice.
To help with motivation, you can make it a game too. Kids love games especially when there’s a nice reward at the end. As a group, decide on what an appropriate treat or reward will be. In other words, one week of healthy nutrition may earn a trip to the ice cream shop, but a whole month may earn a movie outing with popcorn.
Once you all agree on the terms, make a decorative poster or chart that can be tacked up in a visible area everyone frequents often. This can be right on the refrigerator door, in the hallway, or maybe right next to the front door. You can use stickers or stamps and let your kids put them on at the end of a healthy day of eating. This can really help inspiring them fully involved and engaged.
When it comes to the actual meals, if your children are old enough let them help come up with some ideas. You could even research the library or Internet together so they see the entire process from start to finish.
When they come across a meal that looks appealing, plan out what you’ll need to make it by writing out a grocery list. You will find that this can lead to an entire new outlook on what it takes to actually prepare a meal when they see the process from start to finish.
In regards to the grocery list, don’t forget to add-on healthy snacks and beverages on there too. Here’s a list of 10 healthy snacks that are easy to make and will help get you thinking of other ideas you can keep stocked on hand –> http://HealthyChoicesInLife.com/10-healthy-work-snacks
Best wishes developing healthy nutrition for your children (and maybe for your spouse also). It may start out a bit tough but if you stick with it as a team, you will see how much progress can be made when you stick with it.
Remember, this will benefit your children’s future so don’t dismiss this as an unimportant aspect of their lives. Teach them the importance of healthy nutrition and they may gain an entirely new outlook on life.
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