How to Teach Your Kids Healthy Eating and Lifestyle

by Kate on May 18, 2012

in Health, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Simple Living

I worry a lot about what life will be like for my future children. I worry about whether they’ll take the time to get off the computer and go play outside. I hope they’ll invite friends over and go visit them instead of just interacting on Facebook. But most of all, I worry about what they’ll be eating.

So how will I ensure my kids are eating healthy? All my experience and Everything I’ve read has led me to believe the ONLY way to teach your children healthy habits is by example. So I’m going to try, to the best of my ability to do the following:

1. Talk Positively About My Body: Never will I be a mother who complains all the time about how fat I am. It’s idle chatter and horrible for a child to be around, especially if your child is the same sex and body type and likely to identify with you. That doesn’t mean I’m going to sit around talking about how hot I am either. When I do refer to my body, I hope it will be to say positive things about what it can do.

2. Get Myself Outside and Ask them To Join: I hope to take my family outdoors and out of the house as much as I can. It’s challenging for anyone these days, what with the average work hours (if you’re blessed to have a full time job) going up and up. Hopefully on weekends we’ll go for walks, go hiking, go to the zoo, or heck even go to the nearby outdoor mall. I imagine this working best when they’re young and still eager to spend time with mommy. Hopefully by making these good habits when they’re young, they’ll come to value outdoor activities.

3. Eat Healthy Most of the Time: Growing up my mom had a policy that she wouldn’t buy unhealthy foods and keep them in the house (except soda, because my brother insisted). If we were out to dinner or getting a snack somewhere we could get whatever we wanted but if we were going to be snacking or eating at home, it would be healthy. I’m going to try to follow a similar rule, but I’m a big believer in “everything in moderation.” Being too restrictive can have negative repercussions: so if my kids are dying to have some unhealthy snack at home, that’s fine, just so long as most of what we keep on hand is healthy.

4. Take Trips to Natural Spots: I grew up in Houston and we had an absolutely beautiful arboretum. My parents would sometimes take us there on Sundays as a kind of “church” experience. I think being in nature reminds you that you’re a part of nature and that your body is something to be nourished and cherished, and not just some Twinkie digesting machine. Now I’m in Los Angeles, where we also have a nearby arboretum, several parks, the beach, and nearby mountains, all of which I plan to take advantage of.

5. Enjoy Indulgences: Life is short and full of pleasures and it would be a shame not to enjoy them. I will (and currently do) indulge from time to time and encourage my kids to do the same and not feel an ounce of guilt when they do. That’s the beauty of following a mostly healthy diet: when you do indulge, you can enjoy it since you know it’s only occasional.

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*In the spirit of full disclosure, links to products in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you decide to purchase any of the products I recommend. Know that I only recommend products that I have used and love myself.

*I am not a doctor, a nurse, or any kind of health practitioner. I’m just a gal with a pretty keen intuitive sense, great research abilities, and curiosity that is easily peaked. Please understand that my advice is really just another opinion and it’s for you (and your doctor) to decide the best course for your health and well-being.

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