A healthy and balanced diet is one of the cornerstones of a long and happy life, so obviously, you want your kids to eat right. The thing is, how do you teach them the right way? Well, you could take nutrition courses and share your knowledge with them - or you could simply demonstrate that behaviour in front of them by being a good healthy eating role model.
Do Children Learn Eating Habits From Parents?
Absolutely they do, yes. Sadly, only as many as 34% of parents feel confident they're teaching their children good eating habits, but the influence they have is significant. By backing up the everyday nutrition education they get from school with real-world examples of how it's done, the chances they will eat right when they're older, go up markedly.
How Can I Be A Healthy Eating Model For My Kids?
Being a role model for your kids with anything - not just in healthy eating - is about walking the walk. It’s about you having a firm grip on the facts about what a good diet looks like and practicing it every day. As you’ll see by reading on, getting your kids to adhere to child nutrition guidelines takes a holistic approach that pervades everything you do.
Method #1 - Stay Away From Fad Diets
Instilling the right eating behaviours in children shouldn’t be severe or strict, as you want to ensure their relationship with food is a positive one. As childcare nutrition training teaches us, this means avoiding fad diets like the plague! Anything that eliminates whole food groups is not only going to be hard to stick to but also not great for their development.
Many of these diet programs involve eliminating things like carbohydrates or drastically reducing fat intake. It just sends the wrong signals about how things are done and are often not effective.
Method #2 - Be A Mindful Eater
When you’re eating, the human body can take up to 20 minutes to realise that the stomach is full as it’s actually a chemical signal that determines this state of being. As such, if you’re a fast eater, you can easily end up consuming too much, which can quickly lead to weight gain.
However, by being a mindful eater, i.e. conscious of the food in your mouth, tasting and savouring it, you can slow things down to the point where you’re only eating what you need. Being a steady eater is better for a child’s ability to control what they consume, so exhibit it yourself at the dinner table.
Method #3 - Be Careful When Discussing Your Child’s Weight
When someone says to you “you’re putting on weight”, for most of us, that’s a negative statement that can knock your self-esteem. You need to be really careful about how you speak about the subject, as what you think may be a fairly benign thing to say in your eyes, can trigger drastic action.
Conditions like Bulemia and Anorexia are mental health issues that can easily be started by an ill-timed or hurtful comment about your child’s size. So, just be mindful of the fact when discussing healthy eating and try to stick to the positives.
Method #4 - Don’t Demonize Food Groups
One thing that's more likely to make a child want something is to tell them they can't have it - which is what some parents say to their kids. Junk food carries that name for a reason - as it offers little in the way of nutrition - so yes, it's not great for you, but banning it completely can make it look very much more attractive to your kids.
You don't have to pretend that it doesn't taste nice, as your child can work that out for themselves. It's all about teaching them that everything's ok in moderation.
Method #5 - Provide Meal Structure
Child nutrition certification training clearly shows that snacks in between meals can have a detrimental effect on health, as can skipping meals altogether. There's safety in a regular routine, with the provision of a set breakfast, lunch, and dinner at certain times helping to regulate their intake.
Don't worry if it doesn't go to plan every day, as life can get in the way sometimes. Just have a standard approach that you stick to with a healthy snack-only policy, and your kids will have all the structure they need for health and vitality.
Boost Your Nutrition Knowledge With Online Education Courses
Being a healthy eating role model can be tough, but with the right knowledge, you can walk the walk and be healthier yourself too! What's more, this knowledge can be gained conveniently and affordably thanks to our CPD Endorsed, video-based online education courses that come with 1-to-1 mentoring and 24/7 tutorial support.
Our Healthy Eating For Kids is just one of many examples of stimulating learning you'll find in our full course library that covers more than 20 different industries. The learning experience offered transcends rigid, boring text-based learning, as you can see by taking a few moments to watch our Student Study Demo.
To find out more about this or our flexible payment options, visit us today at www.onlinecoursesautralia.edu.au. Alternatively, to speak to us about anything relating to our industry-leading online training , call us on 1300 611 404 or email us at [email protected].