Celebrate Your Child!

Jun 29, 2010

Raising Healthy Eating Kids: 9 Ways How You Can Encourage the Healthy Eating Habit In Your Children

For a lot of parents, raising kids who are conscious of choosing healthy food is a lifelong mission. Given the massive health advantages attributed to healthy eating, kids who are trained towards it stand to gain a lot. As parents, it is probably one of the best gifts we can give to our children.

So how exactly do we go about building healthy eating habits in our kids?

First thing we need to recognize is that habits are built with positive reinforcement. This means that the more positive and happy things our kids can associate with a certain behavior, the more likely they are to repeat it.

Making healthy food choices is a behavior that is directly influenced by our attitudes and reactions towards it. This is a very important principle to keep in mind if we want to encourage certain behaviors in our children. This principle applies not only to eating habits and food choices, but to other behaviors as well.

Keeping this principle in mind, these are just some of the ways you can help encourage healthy eating in your kids:

1. Make meal times pleasant.
Avoid fighting over food or having negative discussions when eating. Especially avoid fighting over fruits and vegetables.

2. Model the behavior you want your kids to follow.
This simply means that if you want your kids to eat healthy, then you yourself have to eat healthy. Children naturally follow what their parents do. If they see you enjoying fruits and vegetables, they are more likely to try it and are more likely to enjoy it.

3. Praise them whenever they choose healthy food.
Let them see how happy and how proud it makes you that your kids choose to eat the healthy food that you put on their plate.

4. Praise them whenever they TRY new food.
Even if they don’t like it the first time they try it, some kids just need to see it served often before they acquire the taste for it. Praising them for trying will leave them open to try the new and healthy dishes that you serve them.

5. Prepare healthy snacks that they can munch on while engaging in recreational activities.
In line with creating a lot of positive associations with healthy food, it may be worth your while to prepare healthy food that they can eat when watching TV or movies, reading books, after sports activities and so on.

6. Let your children know what they are eating.
We’re all guilty of hiding vegetables in our kids’ food, but sometimes it’s actually better to let them know what goes into their food. Teaching them which foods are healthy will allow them to recognize healthy food when they see it.

7. Involve your children in the preparation.
From meal planning to grocery shopping to cooking the food, getting your kids involved, assigning them tasks that they can do will make healthy eating much more fun for them. You can be certain that they’ll be more open to trying food that they helped prepare in some way.

8. Introduce something new once in a while.
If you can do this weekly, even better.

9. Eat healthy when eating out.
This is a great way to show your kids how you can consistently choose healthy food even when you’re in a different environment. This will definitely reinforce the importance of healthy eating and they’ll also realize how easy and accessible healthy food actually is.

Did you know that healthy eating can cut our kids’ risks for diseases like obesity, cancer, diabetes and heart attack by up to 40%? That’s why it’s absolutely crucial that you instill the habit of eating healthy in your children. Learn the secrets and the principles to raising healthy eating kids HERE.

Jun 18, 2010

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Jun 17, 2010

Combating Childhood Obesity

Cheetos are commonly considered a junk food.Image via Wikipedia
A common misconception in today’s society is that a chubby baby is a healthy baby. Yes, we all love cute, chubby babies, but the sad reality is that too many of those chubby babies will later turn into unhealthy, chubby adults. As parents, it is our job to ensure we build a good foundation for our children by introducing them to a wide variety of foods, and not let them over indulge on sweet sugary deserts and empty calories.

With the increasing popularity and convenience of fast food, nearly one out of every five children is battling obesity. Obesity is now common throughout the world, regardless of race or gender. With obesity becoming a problem at these early ages, there is a significantly higher likelihood of adult disease and health problems earlier in life. Obesity is fast becoming a wide spread health danger to our human world.

With more advances in modern technology, we have found ways to do things the lazy way, eliminating a lot of physical exercise we used to get on a daily basis just going about our normal routines. Kids now ride scooters or four wheelers rather than bicycles or roller skates. They now choose to spend their free time in front of the computer, television, or with a video game rather than outside playing tag and hide and go seek. This decrease in exercise is a common culprit among today’s children. We, the parents, have to be strong, and limit the time we allow them to spend playing video games or in front of the television. Sometimes, we may have to change our own habits to get them to change theirs. Go outside and play with your children, play ball, go bike riding, etc. Doing things as a family often makes them more fun, and therefore will be easier to get your kids involved in.

It seems like everyday as parents, our lives get busier and faster paced, and we have less and less time to accomplish what needs to be done. We often look for the easy way out, giving in to running through drive through on the way home from work, rather than going home and cooking dinner as we should. If we prepare our meals, we know what the ingredients are, and have the power to make healthy choices. Going with the fast food option is more convenient, but often is very low on the nutritional value side of things, and also teaches your kids that it is okay to eat that junk, often leasing them to develop bad eating habits of their own. If you have to go the fast food way occasionally, opt for salads and grilled chicken, or try to go with the healthiest choices on the menu, rather than the all too alluring burger and fries.

Kids who spend a lot of time inside in front of television or video games also increase their risk for obesity by indulging in junk food. They eat ice cream, potato chips, cookies, etc., adding to their caloric intake, while reducing the amount of physical exercise they get, again increasing their odds for becoming obese significantly.

Basically, childhood obesity is caused by lack of physical exercise, bad food choices, and to be frank, lack of parental control over their children’s lives.

Obese children are at increased risk for all kinds of health conditions. Common problems include early onset diabetes, joint problems from carrying excess weight, heart disease, and mental and social issues caused by being overweight. School age children often think it is fun to pick on each other, and this joking can cause a world of self esteem problems for the overweight child that will often carryover into adulthood. Then of course, the health risks are increased due to the fact that most obese children will eventually turn into obese adults, with a variety of other health issues to deal with.

It is important to do everything you can to prevent childhood obesity from striking your kids, as you are the first weapon against this dangerous problem. Teach your kids how to make healthy food choices, and most importantly get them outside and active, even if you have to do it too. Parents by no means take all the blame for this problem, but we can take steps to help combat it before it begins.

Grab the report below and Help your child Live a Healthier Life :

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