Maintaining a healthy family lifestyle entails making choices all day, every day that impact your health and that of your family on the short and long term. It all starts with you. By becoming a healthier mom, you'd be teaching your kids how to respect and appreciate their body from their youngest age, setting the stage for future health-aware adults.
Oldreive describes instilling healthy habits in a relatable way:
“We all want our children to still have their own teeth when they are grandparents, right? So, we teach them to clean their teeth, right from when they have their first tooth. And we model that behavior for them too.” She goes on to draw a comparison, saying, “In the same way, we want our children to still have their health when they are grandparents. So, it is really important that we help them learn about healthy eating by introducing them to a wide range of foods and sharing healthy options with them as they grow. Habits formed early in life will last a lifetime, so make them good ones!”
Therefore, if you want your children to adopt healthier dietary practices, show them the way. Here are 5 tips on how you can be a healthier mom and a role model for healthier kids.
Dip, Don’t Dive. Making big, sudden changes, such as opting for completely different dietary patterns, will generally set you up to hate what you’re doing/eating and thus fail; so, set small goals. This is especially true when kids are involved. For example, start by setting weekly limits for their favorite indulgences, like fried foods or desserts.
Level Up. Eat an additional fruit or vegetable per day. Mini bell peppers are a great option. Slice them up and serve them plain or with hummus or yogurt dip. You can always level up by making sure there’s a variety of colors on your family’s plate.
Get Your Head in the Game. Think strategically about where you can make changes throughout the day. If you want to eat less, use a smaller plate or bowl. Leave the salt shaker off the table and try different herbs or spices instead. Switch to whole-grain versions of rice, pasta, and bread to increase your fiber intake.
Savor the Flavor. Slow down when you’re eating. It’s good for digestion and allows you to enjoy the flavors while helping you recognize when you’ve eaten enough. If your kids love to eat in front of the TV, ask them to help you set the table so you can all enjoy a convivial family meal instead.
Shop on a Full Belly. Studies show that shopping on an empty stomach leads to unhealthy choices. Avoid that by keeping a stash of healthy snacks in your car, like trail mix or protein bars.
Start these healthy habits early, and they’ll pay off on the long run. You can also invite your children to the kitchen to give you a hand and learn from their favorite chef!
Till the next read, keep leading by example!
This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.