Most parents want so badly for their children to be healthy, but they aren’t sure how to make that happen. They’re not always going to be little, and we start to lose control over their food choices as they get older, so it’s important to help them develop a healthy relationship with food and teach them how to be in control.
I stumbled upon Jill Castle’s Blog, Just the Right Byte, and really loved this concept. I’ve summarized her post here and also added in some of my own thoughts. I hope this helps you on your quest to help your children learn to love HEALTH!
A LOVE FOR HIS OR HER OWN BODY:
Somewhere along the way, children stop loving their bodies and start criticizing it and feeling embarrassed of it. It’s so important to encourage them to love their body- and that starts with YOU being a good example for them! That means you can’t walk around saying things like “I look terrible in these jeans,” or “I feel so fat today.” If they love their body, they will want to treat it right and feed it right.
A LOVE OF FOOD:
As adults, we have a terrible relationship with food. We love it and we hate it, and it’s just not healthy! Adults make food complicated for kids when we label it “good” and “bad.” Try to encourage your children to love ALL food! Show them how to view trying new foods as sense of adventure and excitement.
A LOVE OF EATING:
Do your best to create a healthy, happy place at mealtime. This means letting go of the pressures and expectations that often come along with meals for kids. Eating is a process that should be enjoyed. If they come to the dinner table expecting a war over their vegetables every night, they will always be on the defensive.
A LOVE OF COOKING:
Get your child in the kitchen and give them some freedom! Allow them to follow recipes, make mistakes, and experiment. You don’t want them to be intimidated by the kitchen or afraid to try new recipes. Loving to cook can help develop a love for health.
A LOVE FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:
Kids naturally love physical activity, but as they get older, opportunities to be active decrease. The best thing you can do is to be a good example for your children. If you are active and are constantly looking for fun ways to get moving as a family, your children will be more likely to be active too.
Unfortunately, we can’t force our children to want to be healthy, but it is our job as parents to help them develop a healthy relationship with food and exercise early on.
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