Over the years I have tried to be a good role model for myself as well my children. Ever since my children were little I always insisted they sit down to a healthy nutritious meal.
As children, we learn from an early age what we can get away with and what we can’t. I believe lots of bad habits set in and before we know it we have children that won’t sit at the table and when they do, play around with their food on their plates to make it look as if they’ve eaten what was put on their plate.
As parents, we are their role models. If we eat a healthy and balanced diet, the odds are so will our children. But even if our children eventually decide to choose a different path long after they are grown, they will have had the foundations to make more informed, better choices.
So how do we go about doing it?
Introducing children to good wholesome (non-processed) food early on in their life contributes to good thoughts on healthy eating. As parents we should be offering fruit and vegetables with meals, or fruit and vegetables as a snack during the day. We also need to reduce foods that contain refined sugars that do nothing but add calories; without any solid nutritional value.
Breakfast is also important for children. It sets them up for the day by balancing blood sugar levels, which help with energy and concentration. I believe it’s important for children to have a nutritious snack mid morning between breakfast and lunch and then again between lunch and dinner, but what they eat should be healthy.
Balancing a child’s blood sugar level, is just as important as it is for an adult. We of course need to continue to be involved in what our children eat, without leaving it to other family members or even institutions. Many working parents don’t always have time to sit with their children and instil important values at mealtimes. I believe as parents we play a pivotal role and should try to instil good habits, regardless of work commitments.
It’s easy to help children make good choices based around foods and meal times, as long as parents are doing exactly that. We need to continue to be good role models for ourselves too, so that our children will eventually do the same.