Stephanie Clarke | HealthGreatness
Children are heavily influenced by their family, and very few places show this more readily than at the dinner table. If parents do not eat right, most of the time, the same goes for their children. For instance, where a child is facing childhood obesity, eating properly is very important. They need to understand which foods are the right foods to eat, and which to avoid, plus how much is healthy. If your child is facing a struggle against childhood obesity and you are looking for ways to boost how he or she eats, here are some basics you can use to start having a big impact on their food choices.
Teach Portion Control
Kids often find themselves striving to eat the food that is on their plate, no matter how healthy or unhealthy the food is. Cleaning their plate becomes a challenge that must be met head on. For children like this, learning the right portions can be difficult if not established early on. Instead of just piling food up on their plate and expecting them to finish it, learn right alongside them. Take the time to find out how much of each type of food the child should be eating, and have them help you serve the food so they begin to learn what an actual serving looks like. The more they are able to see the right amount to eat, the more they will learn to stop when that amount is consumed.
Have Healthy Options at the Ready
Children love to snack, but most of the time, they snack on what’s handy. It is rare that children plan out any type of healthy snacks, simply because that is too time consuming. This is especially true for most children facing childhood obesity since their body is craving food more often than other children. If you know your child is going to want a snack, make sure that you have healthy options for them to grab on the go. Instead of having only potato chips or pudding within their schedule for a snack, offer them fruits, vegetables, or even yogurts that are just as quick to consume. The more room in their stomachs that can be filled through healthy means, the less room there is for unhealthy options.
Set a Good Example
When it comes to facing childhood obesity, children are often looking to their parents for guidance and help through the process. This is the perfect time to not only teach them healthy habits, but also to get your own diet on the straight and narrow. Developing new eating strategies could be as simple as cutting out soda from the house can cut tons of empty calories in many homes. Plus, your child seeing you drinking something healthier will help to influence their choices both now and into the future.
It does not take a complete overhaul of your entire life to have an impact on your child’s dietary habits. Some of the changes that have the biggest impact on a child’s long term success are the smallest changes that a parent makes. If you want your child to see and realize that you are there beside them through their struggle with childhood obesity, make the same changes you are expecting of them. It lets them know how much you care.