I am currently watching the Today show while I write this and the segment is “what is a healthier choice”. We are inudated with media coverage on eating healthy and exercising. Yet, as a country we still struggle with having healthier lifestyles. Recently an anti-obesity video went viral. At first glance I was a bit irriated about it because I don’t think blaming and shaming parents is a good way to motivate change. However, the message is clear, healthy eating habits start young. I remember reading an article while pregnant that stated something along the lines of ‘what you feed your child in the first 2 years of life will set the stage for their eating habits throughout life’. I remember that because it made sense to me. We all know it, but yet it is just so hard.
So why do both kids and parents struggle with healthy eating habits?
These are the reasons I have learned about why I have struggled with healthy eating habits:
Convenience- this is probably the biggest one for me.
I feel I deserved to eat that dessert (due to stress, I ate well that day, I want to finish it, whatever! I have an excuse for anything unhealthy I eat.)
I do not like to just eat raw vegetables
It is to much work to cook healthy
I won’t be full
Over the last year I have learned and accepted that these are just excuses and justifications for my eating habits. I don’t want to teach these bad habits to my kids.
So lately I have been thinking about what do I want my kids to know about eating healthy?
-I want my kids to understand moderation.
-Babies and toddlers automatically stop eating when they are done. It is not dictated by anything other than themselves…until us parents try to control it. I hope they continue this and know that they do not need to “clear the plate”.
-I want them to know that you do not need to eat until you feel full.
-I want them to understand what they are eating. I want them to know why a certain food is healthy for them, but also know why others are not. However, understanding it is okay to treat yourself once in awhile.
-I want them to understand that food is meant to fuel and nourish their bodies. It helps keep them strong and healthy.
-I want them to know that when they eat healthier it will help their mood.
-If they work as a cashier in a grocery store, I also want them to know what the vegetable is instead of having to ask!
I don’t always eat healthy and neither do my kids.
But…I am working on it.
However, while they are young, I mostly control what they eat.
If I want them to eat healthy, I need to eat healthy.
That can be hard to swallow.
It is just fact. I cannot serve my children peas and chicken, while I eat pizza. Life just doesn’t work that way.
What are your thoughts about healthy eating? Do you worry about it? Do you struggle with figuring out organic food vs. whole vs. clean eating? How do you get your kids to eat healthy?
P.S. I totally ate a chocolate chip ice cream sandwich while finishing this post!