Are you Teaching your Children Healthy Eating Habits?

What lessons were you taught about food about food as a child? Were you taught healthy eating habits, or unhealthy? Most parents teach the same lessons they were taught, and these lessons will be passed down through many generations until someone decides to break the cycle.

Were you raised in the “eat everything on your plate” generation. Eat everything on your plate, even if you were already full. Were you told to think of the starving children in third world countries? Did you ever understand how leaving one potato could help a starving child in another country?

If you are concerned about starving children around the world don’t use it to encourage your child to overeat, think about buying less food and donating money to a charity that supports famine relief.

If you want your children to learn healthy eating habits then prepare healthy meals at home, and try not make them feel guilty when they have had enough.

Of course, the approach is completely different for a fussy eater who won’t eat anything except what they want to eat. Fussy eaters should be encouraged to eat SOME of everything on their plate so they don’t try to avoid the foods they don’t like. And to stop them eating their favorite foods then saying they are full you can impose a one hour time limit after dinner before they are allowed to come out with the infamous “I’m hungry!!!”

It’s not a good idea to use the ‘eat everything on your plate or you don’t have dessert’ motivation either. This encourages children to overeat in order to get the yummy foods. Having a half hour break between dinner and dessert can help with this.

Of course, ultimately you need to build up some idea of just how much each child is capable of eating and base their portion size on this amount. Sometimes they will be hungrier, in which case make sure they understand that they can request more. But care should be exercised in what they are eating. Don’t give them an extra sausage as these are high in fat (and therefore calories since fat has four times the number of calories compared to protein and carbohydrates) give them extra vegetables instead and if they need to lose a little weight then reduce the amount of simple carbohydrates on their plate (potato, pasta, rice or white bread) and increase their other vegetables. There is a very good reason for this, carbohydrates provide the majority of our energy requirements but simple carbohydrates require virtually no digestion which means less calories are used in the digestive process and any excess calories consumed are more likely to be stored as adipose tissue (fat). Complex carbohydrates on the other hand burn a lot of calories in the digestive process making them much less likely to contribute to fat stores.

So consider, if you were raised to eat everything on your plate, have you continued the cycle by teaching your children to do the same?

Imagine 15 years into the future. Your child has become an overweight adult suffering all kinds of health issues. They may even blame you for making them eat everything on their plate, or not allowing them to leave the table without their plate being clean, or constantly feeding them junk food and take outs. They are even more likely to blame you if they were overweight as a child. Now back to the present, how would that make you feel?

Give them something valuable to pass on to their children by teaching your children healthy eating habits.

source : weightlosstips4kids


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