It’s a tough job getting children to eat healthy snacks. More kids are overweight than ever before and a large part of the blame is the result of what they are eating. Experts are warning that we are facing a coming epidemic of obesity and diabetes as our children grow into adulthood because of the choices they are making regarding the food they eat. And its not just a matter of looking over their shoulder to make sure they are eating healthy foods.
As a parent it is our job to educate them about the different foods available to them and the consequences of what they put into their bodies. That job is made even tougher by the lack of help we are getting from the fast food industry and the commercials that push sugary and salty snacks as the only way to satisfy our childrens appetites. Though there are signs that this is changing and maybe we will get some help from the food industry in regards to healthy choices not only for our children but us adults as well.
So what are some of the ways in which we can help our children develop life long healthy eating habits that will benefit not only them but our overburdened health care system down the road? We can start by walking our talk. If our children see us eating healthy foods they are much more likely to pick up the habit themselves. Life is full of consequences and the sooner we teach this to our kids the better prepared they will be to lead satisfying and happy lives. Sure you might want to head over to McDonalds for a supersized value meal but staying home and having a family meal featuring healthy foods and good conversation with your family will show what you really value in life.
One way to teach our children what is healthy and what is not is by involving them in the process. Taking children with you when you go grocery shopping and educating them on healthy food choices will pay big dividends in the long run. Letting them pick out some of the foods for family meals will increase their desire to get on the healthy food bandwagon and serve them well later on in life when they do their own food shopping. While it might be a battle at first, removing unhealthy snacks from the house will do away with the temptation for children as well as adults to eat unhealthy. Provide fruits and vegetables as snacks and after a while it will become second nature to grab for a apple instead of a bag of potato chips when looking for a snack.
It might seem like a uphill battle at first to get your kids to eat right. Especially if you have spent your life making unhealthy food choices. As parents we need to approach teaching our children as well as ourselves about eating right with a bit of common sense. Don’t turn it into a battle, we have enough of those the way it is. Offer healthy food choices for snacks and prepare a few healthy home cooked meals together as a family and pretty soon it will seem like second nature. And than both you and your children will be enjoying your new eating habits for the rest of a long and healthy life.