This selection is part of a longer article written for EmaxHealth. Be sure to read the full article, 15 Ways Parents Can Present Good Nutrition to Children, for more advice on helping your children learn how to make healthy choices as they grow.
March brings with it many things. There is the excitement of spring, festive holidays and of course, National Nutrition Month. The goal of National Nutrition Month, which is to take pause and think about the connection between nutrition, our health and wellness, is very much aligned with the renewal that comes this time of year. The 2013 theme, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day”, provides an ideal message for parents to share with their children and help guide them toward making healthier food choices. Here are 15 ways parents can present good nutrition and fun foods to their children.
1. Understand the theme
“Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” provides ideal food for thought (yes, pun intended) about how we approach healthy eating. Too often, we try to fit our life into healthy eating instead of making healthy eating work for us. When it comes to feeding our children, we need to meet them where they are at. This may mean helping our child incorporate at least one more glass of milk into their day even though the goal may be three. It means not taking away their favorite foods but rather helping them balance these foods with those that they may be less excited to eat. It means understanding that parties, sleepovers and other events are going to happen and teaching our kids how to have a nutritious day any way.
2. More on keeping those favorite foods…
Eating well doesn’t have to mean giving your favorite foods- no matter what they are. In fact, keeping your favorite foods around may just be the key to following a better diet for the long run. Of course, depending on what the foods are, you may have to establish if they are something you can eat every day or only sometimes.
3. Sometimes vs. Everyday
Ideally we avoid the terms “good” and “bad” when we are talking about food because if say a food is bad then, we may feel bad for eating it. Rather, it is important to explain to children that there are some foods we eat “every day” because they make us big and strong and give us all of the energy we need to have a fun and busy day. Remind them too, that there are foods that we only want to eat “sometimes” because they are low energy foods that don’t help us grow to be big and strong.