The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation recently published a study emphasizing the ability parents have to influence their child’s behavior. In fact, the study even showed that parents outranked sports celebrities as the person their child would “like to be most.” So, if you want to teach your kid to live a healthier life, you need to set the right example. Here’s how.
Stress the importance of family
Family dynamics have a big impact on how a child develops. Family patterns that are most related to health include family closeness, flexible parenting, a supportive home environment, and mind-stimulating activities. Encourage these things for a healthy household and positive relationships.
Keep Foods Neutral
Never use food as a reward. You should also not forbid any certain food, unless your child has an allergy. Using food as a reward, like promising your child dessert for good behavior, can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. Labeling foods as “bad” or not allowing them to eat certain things will only encourage them to seek those foods elsewhere.
Don’t Force Feed
Children’s appetites change a lot while they grow. So, when they’re full, don’t force them to finish their plate. Also, avoid forcing your children to stay at the dinner table until they’ve finished their vegetables. This can lead to your child having negative associations with mealtime.
Exercise as a family
Your child will be more encouraged to exercise if it is fun for them. Family activities like going for a walk, taking a bike ride, or swimming will not only strengthen your relationship with your child, it will also encourage an active and healthy lifestyle.