I know school’s out & it’s summer time BUT now is an even better time to take control of your kiddos nutritional habits. Keep things structured and still pack or prepare lunches for them. Try not to stray too from routine. Don't have any type of routine in place? Then it's time to build one!
I could endlessly write about nutrition when it comes to children - it's an area I'm super passionate about and wish I could get across to literally every parent out there. It's THAT important.
This email will be the first of a series of more child & young adult oriented nutrition talks. If something resonates with you, you use a tip/strategy and it works, or you have questions you'd like answered... please email me!
Onto the good stuff. This week will focus solely on:
I hear SO often that my nutrition clients struggle because they have food like Oreos, Goldfish, chips, donuts, etc in the house "because of the kids".
Does your five year old hop in the car, drive to the grocery store, and buy Oreos? I don’t think so.
Does your 8 year old drive to McDonalds to get a Happy Meal? Nope.
Do your kids cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner for themselves? Probably not.
So then ask yourself, what is my excuse?
Who is in charge of your child's nutrition? YOU ARE.
Who is putting food on their plate? YOU ARE.
Who is grocery shopping for the household? YOU ARE.
Who is driving them to Mcdonalds before or after sport practice? YOU ARE.
With the above being said, it comes down to the responsibility as a parent to 1) educate YOURSELF and 2) educate your FAMILY/KIDS on all things nutrition & health.
"My mom told me that cake made her fat."
"Calories aren't good for you. I heard my mom saying they were bad."
"Dad said he's not eating ice cream because he's on a diet."
"Carbs are bad."
"My mom drinks protein shakes on her diet."
"Mom said shorts make her legs look fat."
The list could go on & on. But you get the point. YOU ARE THEIR ROLEMODEL. How you view food, your relationship with the scale/your body/carbs/calories/dieting becomes THEIR relationship with those things.
So above all, DO NOT TALK ABOUT DIETS, BODY SHAME, OR FOOD SHAME in front of your kids!!
5. EAT MEALS TOGETHER AND TALK AT THE TABLEWe get so caught up in life, work, the gym, etc. that sometimes we forget that sitting down at the dinner table as a family is a REALLY important part of a child's life. And ours as an adult too. Unplugging more from TVs, computers, iphones, ipads, games and connecting more with humans and engaging in real, meaningful conversations has a profound impact on our quality of life.
At the table:
serve a VARIETY of foods and discuss more about what those different foods do for your body or talk about which macronutrient group they belong in (protein, carb, fat). Example: "We're eating salmon tonight for protein. Salmon is almost like a SUPER-FISH! It gives our bodies a zap of omega-3's which keep our hearts strong and grow our brains!"
6. BE A ROLE MODEL!
Fill your plate with colorful, whole foods. Go back for seconds of veggies and they just may too!
Spice up the vegetables and healthy foods you put in front of them. Don't be afraid to add grass-fed butter, organic dressing or ranch, cheese, hot sauce or bbq sauce, marinades, oils, seasonings. I love all veggies but I don't like boiled plain broccoli either... lame.
And lastly, GET THEM INVOLVED IN THE PREPARATION OF FOOD. Research has shown that children who are more involved in the cooking, chopping, preparing, and even shopping process are more likely to choose healthier foods/meals that they helped with.
I am passionate about creating a healthy lifestyle for myself & helping those around me.