Guest Post ~ Teach Your Kids The Art Of Resistance To A Bad Diet

food health kids wellness

Teach Your Kids the Art of Resistance to a Bad Diet ~ by ~ Mackenzie Fox

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the past 30 years childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents. Being overweight can’t only harm your child’s health such as increase the risk of diabetes 2 and heart disease, but it can also take a heavy emotional toll of being overweight or obese. And the major culprit is – junk food.

Before the far reaching effects of our children’s unhealthy eating patterns continue into adulthood, turning us into a universally obese nation, it’s about time we start acting responsibly toward ourselves and our family. As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

In an age of an all-pervading obesity crisis, being a mother can be tough. Commercially prepared and packaged food loaded with empty calories and flavor enhancing additives lurks from every supermarket shelf, TV ad and fast food restaurant chain. Although snacking on chips, cookies, cheese puffs and candy bars may seem as innocent as the adorable eyes of your little angel, the truth is far less palatable than you’d think.

As I am writing this, I am in between my meals, snacking on a handful of dried apples. Not only am I trying to reduce my daily calorie intake, but I am also setting an example for my little ones. Instead of gorging myself on vanilla ice cream and chocolate chip cookies, I’ve opted for a more nutritious (and less mouth-watering, I do admit) alternative. So, as a parent, what else can you do to help your children avoid the trap of eating junk food and becoming overweight, unhealthy and unhappy in the long run?

Youngsters need your help to develop healthy eating and drinking habits. When choosing your groceries, take a kid friendly approach. Actively involving your kids in the shopping process and meal preparation is a great way for them to learn the basics of healthy eating. Instead of reaching for the much loved salty snacks and a can of soda, teach them how to select a fresh looking pineapple or tomato and let them help out in the kitchen. Simple tasks such as washing lettuce or stirring a meal will make them feel involved and more motivated to eat.

Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, but much more rewarding. Therefore, make a habit of celebrating healthy foods and eating together as a family. Kids love the routine! Don’t get your child become distracted with watching TV while eating – turn it off. By sticking to regular meal times and sitting together at the dinner table the kid will feel more inclined to eat whatever is on their plate. If the kids see you eating a suspiciously looking new vegetable, eventually they will be prompted to do the same.

But don’t expect any drastic change to happen overnight. If your little one is a picky eater who perceives raw tomatoes as wet, slimy and disgusting, be consistent, but flexible and creative. Try dipping them in an oil free sauce or serve a tomato juice instead. With children’s fear of the unknown, introduction of new foods takes time and some skill. As the saying goes, Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon does. Cultivate your child’s curiosity and encourage them to try new foods by simply having them available.

Whatever the approach, do not pressurize your child into eating new foods only because you know they’re healthy and nutritious. Instead, be patient, and let them try on their own. In the meantime, be as informative as you can about the health benefits and importance of eating a well balanced meal. Eventually, your kids will learn to accept that eating is about meeting long term goals, not short term satisfaction.

In the face of a growing obesity crisis, teaching your children how to eat healthy is the best way of investing in them and their carefree future. Creating healthy habits, not restrictions is about eating a variety of fresh, wholesome and nourishing foods with an occasional takeaway or energy dense dessert. As Thomas Edison once wisely predicted: The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.

I want to thank Mackenzie for her guest post and you can follow her on Twitter.

 

28 comments

  1. This is very important to know what chemicals are actually going into our food but we must also remember that our children are getting less physical activity than we did as kids. I was fed heavy meals almost every day as a kid. I’m talking pot roast, potatoes, fried foods, and cake and ice cream for dessert. The upside to all this food though was as soon as I was done eating I was told to go outside and play and when we played, we played sports, rode our bikes all over the neighborhood, built forts, and ran around in the woods. Kids today don’t get to do those things anymore. It’s not just about the fact that kids WANT to stay in because they’d rather play video games of playing football rather than actually play football but parents, myself included, don’t trust the outside world to let our children play without our supervision. The other bad part is that so many physical activities have been cut from the schools, especially here in the states that the kids aren’t getting the exercise they need. Sorry for the long comment. I agree with you that we should be setting a better example for our children as far as our diet is concerned because the obesity is a huge problem now but I strongly believe that a healthy but well-rounded diet goes hand in hand with exercise and physical activity that seems to be seriously lacking for our children’s generation. This is a great conversation to have:) Popping over from #momsterlink

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do force my kids to go outside but we also have a huge yard for them to play and the other day instead of driving to the park we walked. It’s good for me too. And that night, when it was time for bed, they were out. I really try to cook healthy but sometimes Mac and cheese and hot dogs just fits in with our busy schedules.

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      1. I wish I had a yard but since we don’t I take them on hikes and to parks. Sometimes we walk to the park too because it’s great exercise but I get the Mac and cheese thing too. I’m not a fan of cooking but I will cook easy Meals for the boys like today I’m making manwich, lol!

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  2. Absolutely! Healthy eating must be one of the most important things we can teach our children. I agree you can’t force kids to eat something they don’t want to. I think they enjoy different veg & fruits more as they get older. Thanks so much for hosting Trista! x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post and so important that our children know about staying healthy. My kids love fruit but not so much veg, I have a nightmare trying to hide it into their diet without them knowing but I am confident as they grow their tastes will adapt, I know mine did! Thanks for hosting! #momsterslink

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  4. This is a really good post. Teaching healthy eating habits is very important and I agree that children are much more likely to try things if they see their parents eating them. I also like the suggestion of moving at the child’s pace and not forcing something on them.
    Thanks for hosting #momsterslink
    Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My little one is a picky eater, not in the way you would expect though. The only thing I can get him to eat with certainty is fruit and vegetables. I never thought I would utter the words eat your pasta or you won’t get any more carrots! I wonder how long it will last.
    Parents are there to guide in every way, including healthy eating habits and setting a good example is essential. Its so important for them, sets them up for life. #momsterslink

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, I do hear the message in the post and it is such an important one but I must confess that I have such bad eating habits. I do try to cultivate and develop good eating habits but I do slip up quite often. It is true that involving the children and educating them is the battle half won. With my elder children, it’s been easier as they understand the importance of a good diet and in fact, they tell me off now! #momsterlink

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mine loves most fruits, but seems to have inherited dad’s lack of appreciation for veggies. We try and pay attention to what she is eating, but probably not as much as we should. Good reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post!
    One of my favorite docs once said, “Never right a battle with a child that you cannot win.” Best advice ever–handing over the power in a relationship to a young child can be a very bad idea. You cannot force a child to eat healthy food, but you can refuse to feed them junk and sodas. Keep only healthy food around, and the battle is one before it can start.
    Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is what I’m trying to do with my two. They love fruit luckily and (mostly) pic fruit over biscuits. But when mealtime comes it’s so hit and miss, fishfingers, sausages, beans or pasta are always a winner but it’s risky when we expand past that. I agree with the post though, we lead by example, but it’s tough to at times. They tend to eat healthy when it’s not their meal, when I have salmon they’ll eat it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My kids are particular about their fish. Like they love sushi…will eat while pieces of raw fish but don’t particularly like cooked fish. They aren’t big on potatoes will even choose apple slices over French fries if we have a treat of fast food every once in awhile.

      Like

  10. Great thoughts and strategies. As a blended family home, we have extra challenges. They girls often have more relaxed eating habits at the other house. Slowly but surely, we are helping them to enjoy healthier foods. But it’s definitely been a process. Thank you for the reminder of just how important this is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I thought she had some really good points. It’s hard with little ones sometimes because they don’t quite yet understand the importance of a healthy diet. All they know is what they don’t like.

      Like

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