Eating Healthy: Making The Change For Your Family
Obesity is increasingly becoming a morbid concern for Americans. The numbers of young children suffering from this disease are statistically alarming. Some of the main problems can be attributed to the lack of involvement parents have in their children’s lives. Far too many children are watching excessive amounts of television and eating far too many unhealthy snacks and meals. There are many ways that you can help prevent your child from becoming one of these statistics.
First of all, get your child out from in front of the television.
Encourage your child to be active. You can suggest having your child invite their friend’s over after school for a game of flag football. You can try this out to start the change that you want to make for your family. Encouraging them to eat healthy is a challenging job so it is really crucial that you go extra mile.
Get together with other parents and brainstorm activities that the children can do, and take turns hosting events and supervising the children.
Make healthy snacks available for your child. A great way to do this is to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Cut the vegetables up and place in an attractive dish in the fridge for easy accessibility. Place fresh fruits in an attractive bowl and place in high traffic areas where they will be visible. Kids are more likely to reach for healthier alternatives if they are convenient and accessible.
Cut out the temptation by refusing to purchase unhealthy snacks such as candies and cookies
Make a family contract. Have a family meeting to discuss the general health of the family. Make a commitment together to eat healthier.
Have a “taste-test” party for your family or your children and their friends. Buy assorted fruits and vegetables and give everyone the opportunity to try things they have never tasted. Don’t shy away from things that you don’t personally enjoy. Remember that you and your child have different tastes, and you should encourage them to try all foods, even ones you do not care for.
Take your child with you to the grocery store and have them help you pick out healthy foods.
If your child is older, have him/her research healthy recipes online.
Make a pact as a family to try a new dish every week. You never know just what great meal will find you!
Reward your children for choosing healthier alternatives when they snack on their own.
Discourage your children from purchasing sodas and snacks from school or mall vending machines. Provide an incentive for money saved by refraining from buying unhealthy snacks. Perhaps after eating healthily all week, the family can go out for a scoop of frozen yogurt!
Find fun ways to shop. There are several farms and businesses that allow the general public to bring their own containers and pick strawberries and other fruits and vegetables.
Get your hands dirty! Try planting a garden with your child. It is a great opportunity to save some money by growing your own fruits and veggies, not to mention the special bonding you two will share. It’s never too late to find your green thumb!
Lead by example. Children often look to their parents to set a good example. If you are not already involved in daily exercise, start now! You can walk with your child and work your way up to jogging alongside them as they ride their bicycle.
Choose healthy foods for yourself. It will take some time for your children to adjust to the change in diet, but seeing you making the same changes will be a positive thing.
Get your doctor and dietician involved. There is no better person to get advice from than your doctor or dietician. You should make an appointment and have the whole family go. It will be a great opportunity for everyone to ask any questions that they have.
Stick with it! Make it a life change. Take time every week to talk about the positive things you see coming from the change. Encourage your children to ask questions and express any frustrations they are experiencing with the change. Remember to work closely with your doctor. Also remember to be careful when exposing you and your family to unfamiliar fare, as some folks may have an allergic reaction to certain foods!