Melissa Halas
I’m Melissa Halas, Founder, Registered Dietitian, and mom, inspiring healthy living that’s easy, tasty, and fun!

Top 5 Nutrition Tips To Practice What We Preach

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Whether we like it or not, parents are role models for their children. Read on to see how you can have a positive impact on your kids!

As children develop, they watch what their parents continue and start new habits – both desirable and undesirable. This means that if parents want their children to be as healthy as possible, it’s important for parents to practice what they preach. Here are five key tips to be an effective role model for health.

Highlight the power of breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It fuels our bodies and minds and kick-starts our metabolism. We tell our kids to eat breakfast, but are we eating breakfast? Make it a priority to spend 10 minutes every morning to sit down with your kids and calmly eat breakfast. Not only will you be spending quality time with them, but you’ll also be energizing your own mind and optimizing your own nutrition.

Have healthy snacks on-hand

We tell our children to choose healthy snacks, but are we making the best choices ourselves too? Are we going to the coffee shop and grabbing a latte and muffin? We should be setting an example and eating the snacks we want our children to eat too. Having those healthy snacks around will help satisfy hunger and keep everyone energized and fueled.
Some healthy snacks are:

  • A bowl of Greek yogurt, nuts, and a medium fruit
  • Almonds and  dried fruit
  • Hummus and carrots

Be active with your children

Refraining from TV time is an ongoing battle. We usually tell children to do something else in place of watching the tube. Take a look at what you’re doing at that time too? Can you play with them? Taking a walk, playing catch (or rolling a ball with very young children ), playing a board game, and reading a book are all activities that can help our children grow and stay active. Not to mention they are a great way to spend some quality time as a family!

Family food environment

What we eat, our children will eat. Serving a variety of foods can help to increase our children’s desire to eat those foods. Try these tricks to get the kids more involved:

  • Have children participate in meal planning
  • Ask them to help you make a list of groceries, then bring them to the supermarket to help with shopping
  • Let them peel, chop, or cut the vegetables (depending on what’s age appropriate)
  • Have them set the table

If children have the opportunity to do all of this with you, instead of you doing it all by yourself, you’ll be setting a good example of the tasks that need to be done, and they’ll learn in the process! Then, when you’re finally sitting down together as a family, everyone can enjoy the meal that was prepared as a team.

Drinks! Drinks! Drinks!

We have all heard repeatedly that soda and juice contain many calories and that children’s intake should be reduced. Well, the same goes for parents, and what better way to teach children than by hydrating yourself the healthier way. When your kids see you drinking caffeinated and sugar-filled drinks, you’re setting a poor example of the best choices to make. If plain water is not good enough, try infusing water and let the kids select what to infuse it with, or drink flavored sparkling water!

 

Test Your Knowledge:

    1. The most important meal of the day is?
      1. Breakfast
      2. Lunch
      3. Dinner

Answer: a

    1. What is NOT an example of being active with our children?
      1. Going for a walk
      2. Watching TV
      3. Playing a board game

Answer: b

 

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About the Author

Sarah Koszyk, MA, RD

Sarah Koszyk, MA, RD

Sarah Koszyk is Registered Dietitian who owns a private practice in San Francisco. Her mission is to assist people with learning how to cook again and see how easy meal planning can be. I also want to change the mind-set people may have when it comes to food shopping from being a chore to being a fun adventure. She specializes in both pediatric and adult weight management by providing customized meal plans the entire family can live with. Additionally, Sarah is a writer, spokesperson, and speaker. In her free time, Sarah loves going to the farmers market and talking to the farmers, looking at all the amazing, colorful fruits and veggies, and learning about new ways to prepare or cook foods.
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