10 Things Parents Can Do to Help Their Children Have Healthy Eating Habits
1. Make an effort to maintain positive attitudes and healthy behaviors. Children learn from the things that we say and do!
2. Examine your dreams and goals for your children. Decide what you can do and what you can stop doing to reduce the teasing, criticisms, blaming, staring and other actions that reinforce the concept that large is “bad” and smaller is “good.”
3. Learn and discuss with your child the value of exercise for health and the importance of eating a variety of foods in well-balanced meals consumed at least three times a day. Avoid putting foods into categories and labeling foods as good or bad. All foods can be eaten in moderation. Be a good role model with respect to sensible eating, exercise and self-acceptance.
4. Make a commitment not to avoid activities (such as gymnastics, basketball, swimming, etc.) simply because they may call attention to your body shape. Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable.
5. Make a commitment to exercise for the fun of feeling your body move and grow stronger, not to purge extra weight from your body or to make up for the calories, power and perfections.
6. Practice taking people seriously for what they say, feel and do, and not for how thin or “well put together” they appear.
7. Help children appreciate themselves and resist the ways in which television, magazines and other media distort the true diversity of human body types and imply that a slender body means power, excitement, popularity or perfection.
8. Educate boys and girls about various forms of prejudice, and help them to understand the role they play in preventing them.
9. Encourage your children to be active and to enjoy their bodies. Also show how they can enjoy what their bodies can do and feel like. It is not a good idea to limit their caloric intake unless a physician requests that you do this because of a medical problem.
10. It is a good idea to do whatever you can to promote the self-esteem and self-respect of all your children in intellectual, athletic and social endeavors.