Parenting Tips: Healthy Eating Habits

Parenting Tips: Healthy Eating Habits


As I started learning more about the
connection between food and behavior and just how a growing, changing
body handles the bad foods that we’re putting in, I started
making changes at home. It’s been experimenting. One thing that I’ve learned
most, and that has fascinated me, is how simple all of it is. At each meal, now, I make sure I
provide something I know they’ll like. I’ll have some kind of a
nice whole-grain starch of some kind, a brown
rice, a quinoa, any of those different kinds of whole
grains that are relatively easy to make, a little strange for the kids. I put a little of that. I’ll have a vegetable. I’ll have a fruit. I’ll have a protein. I’ve done things as strange
sounding as making kale chips. I took a bunch kale– which is a green
leafy vegetable, very healthy, not always the most appealing for kids. It’s green. It’s fluffy– cut it into small pieces,
a little olive oil, a little salt. You put it in the oven. Bake it until it’s crispy. It’s a nice crispy crunchy salty thing. Everything we bought, we
started to read a label. We looked for anything. And my kids do this with me. I take them to the grocery store. And they know to be
looking at these labels. They know what to look for. Not just looking for
trans fats on a label. But you look in the ingredient list. And anything that says
partially hydrogenated fats, they know we’re not going to buy. My son comes home from school one day. He’s like, oh, I found a new snack. I said, ugh, what was it? He’s describing. I’m going, uh, this does not sound good. And I was like, you know, are you sure? You think this is good? He’s like, no, mom. I read the label. I compared it to something
we’d already read. And it was almost as good as that one. The kids have more energy. We’ve talked a lot about
how you eat for energy and getting protein if you’re
going to go out and play sports. And so they have more energy. I think they feel better. It’s given as a whole new
thing to open up discussion. So if you start talking about
what we’re having for dinner, it then just starts
conversations flowing. So then we start talking about
what happened at school or gee, I didn’t feel as great today. It’s surprising, what these
little things will open up, just about their regular life
and the rest of their life. The easiest way to get a kid
to change their eating habits is to add in new foods and
keep adding in the new foods. And eventually, the old foods fall away. Because there’s only so
much you can eat every day. So if you keep adding
in all this good stuff, well, there goes some of the old stuff. The basic thing is to
give them the options and to give them different foods to try,
and to get the junk out of the house. Because once I got the junk out
of the house, I stopped buying it.