How we eat, what we eat, and other lifestyle choices we make have an impact on our family, be it right away or sometime in the future. Research has proven, for example, that the physical size of your friends influences how skinny or heavy you will be. When it comes to family, the influence is much stronger. This is true especially for the kids. Why?
Kids look up to their parents, and even when they don’t, they pick up habits and “ways of doing” from their parents/guardians. As caregivers, we essentially set the stage for what they eat, how they eat, what’s available to them at home, and how much physical activity they engage in. Why is this important? Because for any and all of us who have children or are responsible for others, caring for them means caring for their health. And that’s not just about being there when they’re sick. This is about building a solid foundation of healthy habits for them from the get-go, so that we don’t have to worry about the endless negative outcomes that come from being an overweight child, teenager, or adult.
Well, how can we “care” for their health? Especially in this world! It’s actually pretty simple:
- Prepare healthy meals.
You’ll teach your family to enjoy healthy, nutritious foods, and it’s an opportunity to allow them to explore a colorful range of foods that are part of a healthy diet.
- Keep out the junk food
Constantly stocking your house with unhealthy snacks sends the message that eating junk is ok. It gives everyone easy access to empty calories that may damage their waistline long-term. Trying to control how often your kids eat these snacks can also be a problem. They may end up craving them more than usual because they know that the food is within reach.
- Don’t place a complete ban on unhealthy foods
Balance is key. Occasional indulgence keeps you and everyone else in check, and teaches your kids that a healthy extreme is not necessary for healthy living.
- Eat Together!
At least for dinnertime, eat as a family. Psychologists have pointed out that family meals are good for emotional and mental health, and they help keep family relationships going. Not only that, but research has also proven that kids make more healthy choices when they eat with their families because they learn from you!
- Allow your kids to hold you accountable
Just like you watch what they eat and teach them about healthy eating and exercise, allow your kids to do the same. That way, they will really feel that you’re all in this together and that healthy living is a family goal.
Get active with your kids! Run outside, play some basketball, go swimming. They will learn from you how important and FUN physical activity is, and will more likely make it a part of their habits.
There are many ways to get your family to live and eat healthy. One way to pick up great tips and advice is to talk to a nutritional counselor. At Florida Aesthetics, Sarah will be more than happy to answer any questions you have about healthy eating in the family and about establishing good habits. If you’d like to talk to her, call us today!