Discussion of raising your family in the pagan tradition.
1. Guide your family's choices rather than dictate foods. Make a wide variety of healthful foods available in the house. This practice will help your children learn how to make healthy food choices.
2. Encourage your children to eat slowly. A child can detect hunger and fullness better when eating slowly.
3. Eat meals together as a family as often as possible. Try to make mealtimes pleasant with conversation and sharing, not a time for scolding or arguing. If mealtimes are unpleasant, children may try to eat faster to leave the table as soon as possible. They then may learn to associate eating with stress.
4. Involve your children in food shopping and preparing meals. These activities will give you hints about your children's food preferences, an opportunity to teach your children about nutrition, and provide your kids with a feeling of accomplishment. In addition, children may be more willing to eat or try foods that they help prepare.
5. Plan for snacks. Continuous snacking may lead to overeating, but snacks that are planned at specific times during the day can be part of a nutritious diet, without spoiling a child's appetite at meal times. You should make snacks as nutritious as possible, without depriving your children of occasional chips or cookies, especially at parties or other social events.
6. Discourage eating meals or snacks while watching TV. Try to eat only in designated areas of your home, such as the dining room or kitchen. Eating in front of the TV may make it difficult to pay attention to feelings of fullness, and may lead to overeating.
7. Encourage your children to choose water as their beverage. Over consumption of sweetened drinks and sodas has been linked to increased rates of obesity in children.
8. Try not to use food to punish or reward your children. Withholding food as a punishment may lead children to worry that they will not get enough food. For example, sending children to bed without any dinner may cause them to worry that they will go hungry. As a result, children may try to eat whenever they get a chance. Similarly, when foods, such as sweets, are used as a reward, children may assume that these foods are better or more valuable than other foods. For example, telling children that they will get dessert if they eat all of their vegetables sends the wrong message about vegetables.
9. Make sure your children's meals outside the home are balanced. Find out more about their school lunch program, or pack their lunch to include a variety of foods. Also, select healthier items when dining at restaurants.
Those are great tips.
Parents should really lead by example. If healthy living is part of the family's lifestyle then the children will adopt it and soon will practice it with their own family.
I think many times over-weight and obese children are a result of their parents not eating well and not showing them how to eat well. A child will always do exactly what their parents will do including the bad habits. If your child sees you smoke then they more likely to smoke when they're older. If you cuss then they'll probably start cussing. If they see you get angry then they'll probably act out in school. The same thing with the foods that you eat. If you eat healthy, then your kids will eat healthy and they're more likely to eat healthy once they enter adulthood. Habits start young and they're usually a result of parents.
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Good posting! Growing your own garden fruit, herbs and veggies with your children, harvesting and preparing them together is also a terrific way to encourage a healthy, holistic and family oriented lifestyle.
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If I might be allowed to add a few things.
A. Donâ€™t get into the fast food habit. Instead take them to real restaurants and instead of ordering off the kiddy menu which is usually grilled cheese, hamburgers, and so onâ€¦ order off of the adult menu for them. If theyâ€™re quite small have them agree on an entrÃ©e and split it between the two of them. Or take home leftovers. Who says doggie bags have to be for dogs lol.
B. Donâ€™t let them say that they donâ€™t like something theyâ€™ve never tried, but do be aware that some foods are to mature for them. Kidâ€™s taste buds are more active than an adult's. So, if youâ€™re going to introduce something new try and do it at a time that theyâ€™ve had a good day and not when theyâ€™re already in an, ahhh, difficult mood lol.
C. Respect preferences in a reasonable way. Donâ€™t let them say, â€œI wonâ€™t eat green foods.â€ Point out to the little dears that green is a color not a food lol. Then cut a deal with them. Say, â€œIâ€™ll put Brussels sprouts on the I donâ€™t have to eat list as long as we put some good veggie (greenbeans, broccoli, whatever) on the I will eat this without complaining list. Stop and think about it. As adults, and especially if weâ€™re the cook in the house, we automatically respect our personal preferences simply by not cooking foods we donâ€™t like. If weâ€™re going to respect our preferences shouldnâ€™t we show some respect for our kidâ€™s preferences too?
D. Watch portion size. Never give a kid a portion size that is larger than his fist.
On a personal noteâ€¦ hehehe. Please donâ€™t say to some kid, â€œEat that because kids are starving in China.â€ My mom did that and I told her to ship it to China! And yes, I spent the rest of the meal standing in the corner lol. But it was worth it to avoid the peas. I still donâ€™t like peas by the way lol.