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How To Teach Good Eating Habits

Aug 18, 2007
Obesity is the number one problem in the United States today. Blame it on hectic schedules and the propensity for eating junk foods and fast food fares. The problem with obesity is not just the psycho- socio effects but it is also the leading cause of diabetes all over the world today.

There is a growing concern for obese children who are in danger of getting diabetes and other weight-related diseases. A child can already start having weight problems even before he is born. Have you not figured out yet why obstetricians advice moms-to-be to eat healthy food and to keep within their ideal weight?

Majority of pregnant women still believe that the more weight they gain during pregnancy, the better for the baby. This is a misconception because studies show that the mother eat from the wrong foods groups and who do not observe proper diet when pregnant tend to gain more weight during pregnancy and in turn they give birth to overweight children.

Old fashioned folks still believe that fat babies are cute and healthy. Cute they maybe, but definitely not healthy!

An overweight kid is more prove to weight-related illnesses like diabetes. I am not saying that you should put your kids on a diet as early as one year old but come to think of it; putting kids on a healthy diet may just he the best solution to keeping them within their ideal weights.

Keeping kids on a healthy diet does not mean depriving them of their childhood. Well if childhood means ice cream and chocolates then go ahead, let them get their sweet yearnings. However, kids should be trained to identify the good food from the bad food.

I have noticed how parents allow their kids to drink sodas even before they turn a year old. The problem is that soda has become a staple family drink so kids grow up seeing soda on the table. And since they see their parents and housemates drink soda then they think it is good for them too.

Did you know that a can of soda contains seven and a half tablespoon of sugar? Can you imagine your child drinking water with this much sugar? Of course not! But see the number of parents allowing their kids to drink soda and you will get a heart attack.

Soda or carbonated drinks are generally unhealthy and kids have to be taught not to drink them. Of course, if you drink soda in the house or in restaurants you can never expect your child to believe you when you tell him that it is unhealthy.

Parents should lead by examples so if you want your child off carbonated drinks then you must start staying away from carbonated drinks too.

Children are born with a blank slate which means they develop a taste for the kind of food and drinks that parents give them at home while they were growing up.

Some parents find it so hard to let their children eat green leafy vegetables. It will be difficult to coax children into eating green and leafy vegetables especially if they grew up without tasting such food.

To get your child interested in vegetables of any kind, they have to experience the food while they are growing up and still developing their taste buds.

Every parent should be guided by the pyramid food classification when feeding their children. Parents should start feeding their babies the right food even before they can demand what they want to eat. The pyramid food guide shows that food that has plenty of fats, oil and sweets should be eaten sparingly.

Thus, parents can feed their babies chocolates and ice creams but only sparingly. On the other hand, babies should be fed two to three servings of milk and cheese as well as food with protein content like fish and poultry.

Vegetables and fruits should be the main fare of babies who should eat food from this group in three to five servings. Babies do not really have a choice what you feed them so it is easy to just mash some potatoes or squash or carrots and feed your baby. He will be able to develop a taste for these vegetables and will find them normal fare when they grow up.

The most important food group which babies should be given more of are breads, cereals, and other carbohydrate-containing food.

Another past time for the new generation is junk food. I always fight this impulse to deliver a sermon whenever I see a mom feeding her baby junk food. Oh, I see them everywhere, babies not even a year old being fed chips just because the mother is so tired to cook good food for her baby.

The problem of obesity starts early on in life and if babies are not shown the right food to consume then they will grow up junk food addicts and soda gurglers like their moms and dads.

It is also unwise to give candies to babies just to make them stop crying. Doing such will only make the candy a comfort zone for your baby who would develop this habit of eating candy whenever he is stressed. Sad to say, your baby will carry this habit even when he grows older and becomes an adult himself.

To encourage kids to snack on healthy food, why not julienne carrots, cucumber and guava and place them on attractive cups and serve them with an attractive dip? Why not let babies munch on raw carrots? It will not only be good for his health but on his teeth as well.

Teaching babies to eat right is not expensive but it takes a lot of love, patience and creativity. Training them to eat right will pay off in the future when you see them grow up to become healthy eaters.

If you want to encourage your kids to eat right then train them to eat right. But first, you also have to train yourself to eat right so you can be a good example to them.
About the Author
The "Daycare Diva", Christine G. Groth, is the creator of "The Guide to Instant Daycare Profits". To learn more about this step-by-step program and to sign-up for her FREE "How to Start a Daycare" tips and articles, visit http://www.ExpertsAtDaycare.com
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