Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Help Your Child Live a Healthier Life

I realized a long time ago my brain is too food-focused. I can’t count the times I’ve given directions like these…
“Go up two stop lights, turn left at Logan’s, and then right at Texas Roadhouse.” (Or Taco John’s or Taco Bell… any restaurant could have been a source of reference.)
Now what’s that all about? Is my inner navigational system linked to every restaurant in town? (Actually, I’m afraid it might be!) Why didn’t I mention Best Buy or Macy’s? Something’s definitely wrong with that picture.
Our nation is more overweight than ever before. I wonder why. Could part of it be because when I watch television I’m bombarded with commercial after commercial about a bigger burger, cheesier fries, or bigger slab of fish?
I joke, but it’s actually no joking matter. Dining out too often adds additional weight. It’s harder to take weight off than it is to put it on. It’s not easy to make a wise food choice when faced with so many options. So why not help your child start a healthier lifestyle now?
Try these easy tips:

  • Our children follow our lead. If we eat unhealthy foods, they’re more likely to do the same. Encourage healthier snacks and meals. The best time to teach them is when they’re young.

  • Eat at the dinner table. It’s easy to overeat while watching television. Make sure the television is turned off during meals.

  • Don’t chastise your child for overeating. Let them know you love them and want the best for them, but tactfully encourage them to watch portion sizes.

A couple tips about activity:

  • Limit time in front of the television or video games. Once your child has become a “couch potato,” it’s hard to break the habit. Kids need to be active at least one hour a day. Encourage your child to get moving.

  • Exercise. Try some stretches. Add a daily exercise routine or take a 30-minute walk 4-5 times weekly. (Don’t forget to warm up and cool down.)

The dinner table is a place for families to come together. Our families are pulled in so many different directions during the day. Getting your child to eat healthier and exercise takes work, but it’s work that pays off. By following these simple tips, you’ll have a healthier child, save a few calories and help your family reconnect.


Carma said...

Hi Lisa,
Great ideas to encourage activity in children. As a WW life timer I have been up and down that road many times. Eveerything we do has food associated with it. I guess it is all about perspective.


Theresa Schultz said...

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for the reminder. Dinner together at the table used to be a given for our family. Now, with two in college and the third an active teen, we hardly ever sit down to meals together. I'm going to schedule at least two dinners a week at the table, and I'm trying to reinstate the tradition of the Sunday dinner. Wish me luck!


Judy said...

Hey Lisa,
Dinner together is so important. It is something that I did even when it was just me and my daughter. The other part is teaching healthy eating habits and learning to like healthy foods.

I love Theresa's comment about Sunday dinner - it was almost an unspoken rule in our house. We just did it - many times there were friends included that didn't have that occasion - so even more fun.


Admin said...

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Suzanne Lieurance said...

Hey, Lisa,

One way to help kids develop healthy eating habits is to have them cook dinner with you.

They can learn how to prepare healthier food than they'd get at fastfood places, and they are more likely to want to sit down together to eat if they've helped prepare the meal.

Happy, healthy eating!

Three Angels Gourmet Co.
A Virtual company with real food