Whether it’s Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign, my friend’s talk in Westchester to the PTA or the development of a new Food and Nutrition Committee at my son’s school, Moms and Dads are advocating for positive change for health promotion. We walk a fine line while doing this as we don’t want to create more problems in regards to the already challenging job of feeding our children. Here are five simple tips to include in your “lunch box” of tools.
Teaching Not Preaching to Your Kids, Healthy Habits
Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE
Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services (www.LauraCipulloLLC.com)
1. Don’t preach instead lead by example:
- Let your children know you are off to spin class or pilates
- Plan active vacations whether it be skiing or hiking in Colorado
2. Practice exposure therapy
- Try new foods with your children especially on vacation or during the holidays. St Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras offer different cuisines to tantalize your taste buds.
- Leave the veggies on the table even if you know the kids won’t eat them.
3. Take your child food shopping
- Shop at the farmer’s market or a food store that emphasizes sustainable, local agriculture and wholesome foods such as Whole Foods.
- Limit shopping at grocery stores that offer more colorful, child focused boxed and processed foods. There marketing sucks your kids in.
4. Encourage Trying, Not Winning
- Tell your child you are proud of them for trying a new food or a new activity. It’s not whether they like the veggie or if they played the game correctly.
- Focus on the great effort and fun your child had at trying a new sport like roller-skating not how they didn’t fall.
5. Practice self regulation
- Let your child choose how much of the dinner to eat. No clean the plate the club!
- Ask your child “Are you hungry, thirsty, bored or tired?”