Healthy living, for adults or children alike, isn’t just about the foods that we eat. It’s about being positive, nurturing relationships, and much more.
Here, Janice Taylor, Life and Wellness Coach, Weight Loss Expert and Our Lady of Weight Loss, the patron saint of permanent fat removal share thirteen (a baker’s dozen) tips that can help end childhood obesity, one household at a time!
1. Be A Wellness Role Model. Lead by example. If you are overweight, your children’s risk of becoming an overweight adult is increased by 25% and, if both parents are overweight, the risk jumps to 50%.
2. Be Positive. Leave your judgment, lectures and nagging at the door. Encourage and support your children to live their best life.
3. Erase the word ‘diet’ from your vocabulary. The word diet is associated with deprivation. Instead of focusing on what is being ‘taken away,’ focus on the healthy bounty of exciting and delicious foods that you and your family can eat.
4. Shop Together. Ask for your children’s input. Sit down and create a shopping list that includes high-nutrient foods. If your child says, “I’d really like a chocolate donut.” See if you can include one sweet (perhaps, a one-oz. square of dark chocolate) along with a fruit salad into the day’s food plan. Should your child still want the donut, buy one tiny pack of pre-portioned mini-donuts. Do not keep an endless supply on hand.
5. Read the Labels Together. Learn the art of reading a food label! Teach yourself and your children. Pay attention to the ingredients, and of course, portion size. Steer away from ‘enriched’ products and foods that have ‘high fructose corn syrup’ in them. (Enriched means that everything good has been stripped out, and the manufacturer has to put something back into it lest it has no nutritional value. HFCS is simply unhealthy, in my opinion.)
6. Cook Together. Cooking with your children not only encourages them to try healthy foods, but it builds self-esteem. Children feel like they are accomplishing something, and the skills they are building will stay with them for the rest of their life and be passed down to the next generation. That’s quite a legacy!
7. One New Healthy Food Each Week. Introduce one new food to the family dinner table each week. It will expand the entire family’s ‘food horizons,’ and you can use the new food as a topic of conversation.
8. Get Creative with Fruits and Veggies. Find interesting ways to include fruits and veggies into your children’s food plan. Smoothies are always a good idea! For the truly creative and playful, place broccoli vertically in your mashed potatoes, so it looks like a tree, and then line the bottom of the mashed potatoes with peas. Pretend you are a dinosaur and devour all the trees and stones! This is not only for the littlest ones. My adult children still enjoy a tasty ‘scene.’
9. Drink Water. Water is one of the most important and overlooked nutrients for our children. Our bodies are 75% water, and a state of dehydration leads to a reduction in both mental and physical performance. Water helps to keep children healthy, helps them to perform better in school.
10. Happy Mealtime. Make mealtime a happy family time. Sit down and discuss the highlights of your day over a plethora of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and organic foods a plenty. Do not eat while watching television or reading the paper.
11. Healthy Breakfast. Studies show that children who eat breakfast have fewer disciplinary problems, less visits to the school nurse, and they have a higher aptitude for problem solving. They are more alert, more creative, have better hand-eye coordination, and are more physically active.
12. Get Moving. Do you and your family gather round the television and snack together as you watch “The Biggest Loser?” Instead of eating mindlessly in front of the television, how about a good game of badminton or horseshoes in your back yard? How about joining or creating a family-bowling league? How about a game of twister?
13. Love Trumps Fat. Love your children. Witness the true beauty of the person who is standing before you and mirror it right back to him or her.
For more wise, fun and utterly useful tips, join Our Lady of Weight Loss’s club: Facebook/Kick in the Tush Club.
Spread the word–NOT the icing,
Life & Wellness Coach, Weight Loss Expert
Wise * Fun * Utterly Useful
Dictated by Our Lady of Weight Loss, but not read: excuse typos!———————————————————————————-
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