Monday, April 18th, 2011
No matter what age your child is, it’s important to start teaching them good eating habits. With these habits your children will be healthier and have a positive relationship with food. If a child doesn’t have strong healthy habits they may eventually need eating disorder help. Of course, not all of these children will, but it’s more likely for a child or teen to seek anorexia treatment or bulimia disorder help, if they don’t have healthy eating habits.
The best time to start teaching your children about good eating habits is when they’re young. However, it can be started at any age. It’s just important that parents start the process before their children have developed several negative eating habits. It’s not impossible to start at that point; it’s just much harder to get them to embrace the habits. Teaching new habits is easier than transforming habits.
One of the best ways to teach your child, especially when they’re young, is to be a good role model. The “do as I say, not as I do” approach is far from being effective. When children are young they have a strong tendency to imitate. If a parent tells a child to eat their vegetables while the parent eats greasy chips, the child is less likely to follow the instructions.
A parent should eat the healthy foods they want their children to eat, such as vegetables, fruits, fish, and other helthy foods. Another important element of being a good role model is eating balanced meals. A parent should eat balanced meals as often as possible instead of eating only the pieces of a balanced meal throughout the day.
There are several practices that can help a child of any age learn about healthy eating habits. One is to have regular family meals. This means the family sits down together and eats a healthy meal close to the same time every day. Keeping up with a scheduled time to eat dinner can help the children understand that meals should be eaten regularly. Having the entire family together also enhances appetite and comforts children.
It’s important that the family meals are home made. Making a meal every night can be time consuming, but it’s better for everyone in your family. Overall, home cooked meals are healthier. Many restaurant or fast food meals have more salt and fat in them. Your child will also get into the habit of making food instead of buying fast food.
Another option for parents is to involve their children in food-related activities. These activities may include packing school lunches, making dinner, or grocery shopping. All of these activities give parents the chance to talk to their children about eating healthy. They can learn about the importance of certain foods in a daily diet. While helping out in the kitchen, they can also learn about healthy cooking habits.
These ways of teaching children about healthy eating habits all require the parents’ presence. However, parents aren’t able to be with their children every second of the day. A great way to teach your children about healthy eating while you’re not home is to have healthy snacks around. Stocking your pantry with healthy drinks and food will subtly teach your children. They will get used to grabbing a healthy snack when they’re hungry. As they get older they’re more likely to choose healthy snacks because that’s what they’re used to eating.
These are just a few ways to teach children about healthy eating. It’s very important to teach your children healthy eating habits because it can help avoid the development of an eating disorder. It’s better to avoid an eating disorder than to treat one once it’s firmly developed. However if it’s come to your attention that your child or teen has developed an eating disorder, there is help. Avalon Hills has the best eating disorder treatment for those that suffer from eating disorders and want to help.