The Importance of Teaching Children About Nutrition

Diet and exercise are essential to a healthy lifestyle, yet often overlooked due to time constraints from work and everyday life. Sure, we are all guilty of skipping the gym 1, 2, maybe even 3 days in a row and maybe we shouldn’t have had that extra 3 slices of pizza or that ice cream sundae for dessert. Bad eating habits can be difficult for anyone to break, especially with children. Many children are already picky eaters and throw tantrums at the very mention of vegetables. It is essential to teach children from a young age to eat fruits and vegetables but more importantly, teach them how to enjoy them. Nothing will ever replace pizza, especially not cauliflower crust. But if children are taught to make smart eating choices and get at least 60 minutes of active playtime a day, they are less likely to have weight problems and will set a pathway to make healthy decisions as they grow older. Here are some dos and don’ts when approaching the subject of healthy eating and weight with your child:
  • Don't tell your child that they are 'greedy' or 'lazy'.
  • Do empathize with them, and say how hard it is to make healthy choices at times.
  • Don't make your child feel guilty about their eating habits or tell them that their weight is their fault.
  • Do praise them lavishly when you see them eating healthily.
  • Don't scare your child into trying to lose weight.
  • Do ask them what would be good about being less heavy.
  • Don't moan about your own weight or make negative comments about others’ weight.
  • Do set a good example and do everything that you expect your child to do.
  • Do point out those things that you consider nice about your child's appearance: their choice of clothes, their eyes, their hair, etc.
  • Don't tell your child that they will only be happy at a normal weight.
  • Do talk to your child about the positive effects of managing their weight
Free nutritional advice as well as healthy snacks will be provided at this year’s Back to School Bash on Saturday August 8th. Bring the whole family to the free health carnival put on by Boca Raton Regional Hospital and learn more about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and how you can make the change for one today.

For additional resources on teaching your child about good nutrition and weight management, visit www.letsmove.gov.

(Source: www.weightconcern.org.uk/node/134)