Being a parent is not easy, but it is rewarding. That is why parents give their best to care for their child.
One great example of this is Tim and Megan’s Success Story. Their children’s welfare is one of the biggest motivating factors for these parents who pursued bariatric surgery together.
“I’ve been heavy my entire life. Our older son was picking up really bad habits from us and I didn’t want him to follow what I’ve done, what I’ve gone through.”
“Being able to walk upstairs without being winded, being able to walk for long periods of time without ankles, knees and backs hurting; taking your kids to Fur Rondy and going on rides with them instead of waving from the sidelines – that’s where we are now and it’s great!”
Two perspectives, same goal: to get better for their children, so they can be there for them. Watch Tim and Megan’s story and get inspired!
Teaching Kids to Eat Healthy
Whether you have a toddler or a teen, here are five of the best strategies to improve nutrition and encourage smart eating habits:
- Have regular family meals.
- Serve a variety of healthy foods and snacks.
- Be a role model by eating healthy yourself.
- Avoid battles over food.
- Involve kids in the process.
Sure, eating well can be hard — family schedules are hectic and grab-and-go convenience food is readily available, but making time to follow these guidelines will create healthy habits to last a lifetime. Make all five strategies part of your busy household!
Be a Role Model
The best way for you to encourage healthy eating is to eat well yourself. Kids will follow the lead of the adults they see every day. By eating fruits and vegetables and not overindulging in the less nutritious stuff, you’ll be sending the right message.
Another way to be a good role model is to serve appropriate portions and not overeat. Talk about your feelings of fullness, especially with younger children. You might say, “This is delicious, but I’m full, so I’m going to stop eating.” Similarly, parents who are always dieting or complaining about their bodies may foster these same negative feelings in their kids. Try to keep a positive approach about food.
Stock Up on Healthy Foods
Kids, especially younger ones, will eat mostly what’s available at home. That’s why it’s important to control the supply lines — the foods that you serve for meals and have on hand for snacks.
Follow these basic guidelines:
- Work fruits and vegetables into the daily routine, aiming for the goal of at least five servings a day. Be sure you serve fruit or vegetables at every meal.
- Make it easy for kids to choose healthy snacks by keeping fruits and vegetables on hand and ready to eat. Other good snacks include low-fat yogurt, peanut butter and celery, or whole-grain crackers and cheese.
- Serve lean meats and other good sources of protein, such as fish, eggs, beans, and nuts.
- Choose whole-grain breads and cereals so kids get more fiber.
- Limit fat intake by avoiding fried foods and choosing healthier cooking methods, such as broiling, grilling, roasting, and steaming. Choose low-fat or nonfat dairy products.
- Limit fast food and low-nutrient snacks, such as chips and candy. But don’t completely ban favorite snacks from your home. Instead, make them “once-in-a-while” foods, so kids don’t feel deprived.
- Limit sugary drinks, such as soda and fruit-flavored drinks. Serve water and low-fat milk instead.