Be a healthy role model!
Children are observant little critters. One of the primary ways they learn is by seeing and imitating their parents’ behavior – especially when it comes to meal times. Research shows when families eat together , everyone eats better, meaning that they consume more healthy foods and nutrients including fruits, vegetables, fiber, calcium rich foods and vitamins. It can be a challenge to get everyone home and at the table at the same time, but when you do – maximize the opportunity to be a positive food role model for your kids with these tips:
- If there’s a kiddo or two hanging around the kitchen before dinner, get them involved! Ask them how to cut the carrots for the salad – strips or coins. These small choices get them involved and they’re more likely to try it!
- Be open to trying new foods; don’t force children to try new things. When they see you trying new foods, they will follow your lead.
- Set an example with snacks! – choose fruits instead of chips or candy and kids will follow suit.
- Avoid labeling foods as “good” or “bad” – labeling foods can create a desire for them.
- Enjoy your meals – it shows children that it’s okay to eat all foods in moderation.
- Instill balance at mealtimes – fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter each starch and protein.
- Don’t rush through meals – take the opportunity to talk about the day.
Bonus: Another study suggests that a father’s exercise habits may influence their young even before they are conceived!
Your Dole Team