Do you encourage your child to make healthy food choices?
Do you eat healthy foods yourself?
Are you a good role model when it comes to healthy eating habits?
Kids are humans…they will usually eat and want what they see YOU eating on a daily basis.
How important is health and nutrition to you and your family? It should be number one on your priority list! It should be equally important for you as a role model parent as well.
It’s imperative for your child’s brain to be fueled and ready for school activities each day. So what can you do as a parent to help?
It’s often said that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” For the most part…this happens to be true. So…for starters, make sure you and your child both eat a healthy breakfast.
Here is one example:
You might start off your day with an apple, some fat-free milk, and a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter. Smoothies are also good choices. Skipping breakfast increases over-eating at lunch time, resulting in packing on extra carbs and fat. And this causes sluggishness and tiredness for the remainder of the day.
Below are 5 healthy tips on being a good role model parent:
1. Fill your kitchen pantry with good wholesome, healthy foods. Not junk foods such as cookies, pastries, pop tarts, and other tempting unhealthy treats. Maybe substitute junk foods with high fiber trail mixes, unsalted peanuts and nuts, dried fruits, wheat pastas, high fiber/low sugar cereals, and peanut butter.
2. Stock your refrigerator with low fat milk, fruit juices, fresh fruits, reduced fat cheeses, low fat yogurt, fresh veggies, fresh grilled or baked chicken, turkey, and fish, apple sauce, low fat cottage cheese, and bottled water. These choices are all good for you and provides the fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy and strong.
3. Be a label detective. Make it a daily habit of reading food labels. Watch out for high sugars, high sodium, high cholesterol, and high saturated and trans fats. You should strive for nutrients such as protien, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and fiber.
4. Don’t encourage high fat or high sugar snacks before bedtime. Unhealthy snacks should not be encouraged really at all, except for really special occasions. But they are especially bad for you right before bedtime. This is the worst time to be consuming unhealthy foods. Making this a habit over time can cause un-wanted weight gain, not to mention disturbances in sleep patterns. And remember…parents, set a good example for your kids and practice what you preach.
5. Pack healthy, nutritious lunches for your kids. Below is a good example:
A sandwich with multi-grain bread with a filling of chicken or turkey breast with a slice of cheese and maybe a slice of a tomato…or peanut butter sandwich. A banana, fresh cut up veggies, 1 or 2 graham crackers, milk, juice, or water.
Drink Tip: Freeze your child’s drink. This way the other contents of the lunch will stay cold inside the lunch box.
Remember…you are your child’s best role model. If you want them to be healthy and eat their fruits and veggies, you have to eat them as well. All the health benefits for your children that go along with these tips also applies to adults.