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3 Keys To Teaching Children Good Eating Habits

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Above are left overs from Easter dinner. It was absolutely delicious and as the saying goes “My eyes were bigger than my stomach.” I hope so, I have been doing a lot of ab work so it better be. Any way in the past I would have felt compelled to clean my plate, even though I could feel the tightness in my stomach. My body was giving me clear indications that it had enough but all the old tapes of all the unfortunate hungry children in the world was running through my mind. A struggle was going on between my body and my mind. Don’t let this happen to you or your children, teach them good eating habits early. I am going to share with you 3 essential keys to teaching your children good eating habits. These eating habits will be good for you too.

1. ENJOY YOUR FOOD

Take the time to really enjoy your food. Make sure that you have enough time to eat and are not in a rush. My daughter is not a morning person. After we would drag her out of bed and she would get ready for school she barely had time to eat breakfast. When she did try to eat it she could not enjoy it and would feel so rushed that although she ate her meal she would get a stomach ache shortly after. We realized that  we either had to get her up earlier or give her money to eat breakfast at school or have her pack something that she could eat later that was quick, portable and nutritious like yogurt, a banana or a waffle sandwich.

Part of enjoying your food entails enjoying the look and smell of the food. This is more important than you think because this starts the glands that create your saliva to start to work and this is needed for your food to digest properly. Also be sure to chew your food thoroughly into really tiny pieces, this too is a key component in the digestion of your food. You will not get the full nutritional value of your food if it isn’t digested properly.

2. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

One of the reasons why you want to take your time eating, and enjoy your food is because it gives the brain time enough to register you meal so that you body can know when to stop eating. If you eat too fast, the brain doesn’t have time to register the meal and the effects on your body for example the feelings of  fullness of your body. If you follow the above advice you will notice when you are full. Now you may stop and say I thought I was teaching my child good eating habits why are we talking about me. I am starting with you so that you will have the experience of it yourself and be that much more convinced when you teach it to your children. Secondly, children learn much faster by imitating you than they do when you are forcing them to do something. Being a good role model helps both you and them. YOUR CHILD DOES NOT HAVE TO CLEAN THEIR PLATE AND NEITHER DO YOU. Teach your child to listen to their body, when it is full stop. Do not force your child to continue eating. You want them to learn how to listen to their body and trust it. Remember you are helping them to develop good, life long habits.

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You do have the option of cleaning the plate and putting it into a container for later. This is a great alternative to throwing food away. With this option you aren’t forcing your child to eat or wasting food. They have the option to eat when they are hungry which is another good eating habit to develop.

3. DRINK WATER OR LOW FAT MILK

As adults you might not want to drink milk so drinking room temperature water is great. You also want your children to get into the habit of drinking water with meals instead of sugary drinks. Non-fat milk is recommended, skim and 1 or 2 percent are also great options. In the beginning my daughter didn’t tolerate dairy so well so we substituted Soy and lots of greens so that she would get all of the nutritional value that was required.

This is by no means the definitive guide to teaching your child good eating habits but it’s a great start. Which is what you want to have a great start. With a great start and foundation you will be able to add on other great habits with ease and experience success. This is great for you and your child. For more tips on healthy eating download a free ebook at http://healthyeatingweightloss.com.

 

One Response to “3 Keys To Teaching Children Good Eating Habits”

  1. D’TaRelle, I had to come back and read your blog post today. I love the topic! You have hit the nail on the head on developing lifelong healthy eating habits. It all starts with mindful eating, not mindless eating. Much of what you mentioned in your post is part of learning to reclaim the intuitive eater from within. And, yes, it starts with the parents, as young kids do mimic what they see their parents do. Children are born with the natural instinct to eat when hungry and stop when full, but unfortunately, many lost that ability due to “well meaning” parents who push food on them, reward with food or guilt them into eating. Anyway, love the post! Feel free to offer your readers my free downloadable guide at http://www.DietFreeZone.com.

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