Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate. — Anonymous
Did you know that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its Foundation celebrates the kids Eat right month in August? I didn’t until recently and it’s the 6th year. It’s a campaign to highlight the importance on the good health and eating habits of our children.
Think of all the terrible eating habits you might have learned as a kid. I’m not blaming our parents and grandparents. Sometimes it’s just lack of knowledge, which is the whole point of this campaign. Children are the future of our society and regardless of our religious and political views we all should agree to that.
Proper nutrition and an active lifestyle allows the body to develop strong and healthy. A stronger and healthier body provides better mental alertness, less sick days and higher self-esteem.
There are some recommendations made by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics into how to improve and impact children’s eating and activity habits. I will add their link at the end of the post so you can check it out. For now, it boils down to US. Yes, you and me adults. Children are like sponges and we are their superheroes. The major impact from ourselves. What healthy habits are you teaching by example?
I remember when my oldest was just a young toddler, she decided that all she wanted to drink was sweet tea. If you’ve lived in the south, you know what I mean. I realized that’s what she was seeing. Little water intake and mostly tea. As sweet, delicious and refreshing Meme’s sweet tea are if I don’t create the habit, she’ll be drinking sweet tea instead of water most of her life (or at least while we were in the South). I started seeing it in older kids. But the change started with me saying no, only indulging occasionally and teaching by example. Talk the talk and walk the walk.
Recently, I see both my daughters enjoying exercise, and eating vegetables and fruits. The more colorful their plate the more excitement. Weird? You might think so, but the change started with me. It wasn’t easy but it has been worth it. Not only did I gain from it but think of the impact my positive actions are having in future generations. That’s huge!
The girl that only ate nuggets and fries, eats a plant-based diet now! And I feel amazing. So, give it a try because truly you have everything to gain. Eat together-electronics away please. A great to start is adding fresh fruit to your breakfast. Or a fruit shake to your day. Add natural color to your plate and enjoy walks or bike rides with your kids, your nieces or nephews, your grandkids. The major reform we need is ourselves and it is possible. Let me know if you’d like some more tips in a future post and/or recipe to help your journey and help improve the habits of our children. It’s all about education.