Thinking back to my childhood, the whole family sat down together for meals. We weren’t left on our own to find something to eat. We may not have liked what was put on the table, but it was either eat it or go without. Being active wasn’t a problem. We had chores to do and were expected to do them. We didn’t sit around and diddle with some electronic device. Here are some thoughts on getting your child to eat healthier and get and stay active.
- Try to include fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables with every meal. They may have to be in liquid form or like we did with our dog as a kid, hidden in a food (Tuffy liked hotdogs) that they like.
- Have a handy place available for your children to reach healthy snacks when they are hungry. The folks kept a box of apples behind the couch for us kids to munch on.
- Limit the amount of sweetened beverages that your children have every day. Encourage them to drink more water or low-fat milk. Limit fruit juice intake to one 4-ounce serving per day.
- Start when your children are young. It easier to get them active and eating healthy rather than developing habits that are hard to break.
- As much as you may not like to, become a role model. Eat your vegetables, drink your milk and stay active.
- Don’t use food as a reward or punishment. If they deserve a special ‘treat’ for doing well on something, go shopping, to the park or do something else they like to do. Use your imagination. Take away their ‘electronic device’, not food when punishment is necessary.
- Prepare food at home. Get your child’s help in doing so. They can help wash the veggies, set the table, etc. I see way too many families eating at fast food resturants.
- Sit down together at meal time. Talk over ‘positive’ things that have happened that day. Do not allow electronic devices at the table.
- Set a limit on the amount of time your child can use video games,the computer, their phone, etc. to no more than 2 hours daily.
- Don’t talk ‘exercise’. Activity is the word. Encourage activities that require movement. Jumping rope, hide-and-seek, hop scotch and the like may seem old fashioned, but remember back to your childhood and the fun you had. If your child has special interests, try to center or create ‘activities’ around those interests.
Keep your fork