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Be a Healthy Role Model for Children (Part II)

Source: Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) Weekly eNewsletter

Here are more tips on how you can be healthy role model for your children!

 

  • Focus on each other at the table. Talk about fun and happy things at mealtime. Turn off the television. Take phone calls later. Try to make eating meals a stress-free time.
  • Listen to your child. If your child says he or she is hungry, offer a small, healthy snack — even if it is not a scheduled time to eat. Offer choices. Ask, "Which would you like for dinner: broccoli or cauliflower?" instead of, "Do you want broccoli for dinner?"
  • Get creative in the kitchen. Cut food into fun and easy shapes with cookie cutters. Name a food your child helps make. Serve "Janie's Salad" or "Jackie's Sweet Potatoes" for dinner. Encourage your child to invent new snacks. Make your own trail mixes from dry whole-grain, low-sugar cereal and dried fruit.
  • Offer the same foods for everyone. Stop being a "short-order cook" by making different dishes to please children. It's easier to plan family meals when everyone eats the same foods.
  • Encourage physical activity. Make physical activity fun for the whole family. Involve your children in the planning. Walk, run, and play with your child — instead of sitting on the sidelines. Set an example by being physically active and using safety gear, like bike helmets.
  • Be a good food role model. Try new foods yourself. Describe its taste, texture, and smell. Offer one new food at a time. Serve something your child likes along with the new food. Offer new foods at the beginning of a meal, when your child is very hungry. Avoid lecturing or forcing your child to eat.

 

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