The summer months should be a time when children are especially active, play sports, enjoy the outdoors, and perhaps even eat better because there are more occasions for family dinners. In other words, it should be a time when they are their healthiest. Not so, a new study from Harvard University found. In fact, it is during school vacations that many kids put on extra pounds.
The poor dietary habits of today’s children are contributing to their obesity, chronic illness, and ill health. They are also laying a foundation for poor academic performance, chronic disease later in life, violent behavior, and premature death. But children are not making these choices on their own; children’s dietary habits are ingrained by their parents.
Do you feel fat? Well, guess what? Fat is not a feeling. For some people, though, even the thought of feeling full, bloated, or heavier than they should be conjures up a wide range of emotions. The words, “I feel fat,” especially when spoken by those with eating disorders, are saying something else.
Dieting is an infamously lonely endeavor. People may eat with their families, but they diet alone. As a society we sanction a multi-billion dollar weight loss industry for adults. We line up, sign up, go on and fall off – all the while leaving our kids out of it. Every time we neglect a family-based approach to health and weight control, we increase the likelihood that our children will grow up to need those weight loss services even more desperately than we do.
For parents it can be difficult to understand their children’s eating cues. Many wonder why feeding has to be so hard? If that applies to you, maybe you’re getting it all wrong. Ask yourself if you’re doing any of the following things.
When you think about what it takes to raise healthy kids, good nutrition often comes first to mind. But there are many other aspects of parenting that can improve the chances of children to grow up as healthy as they can be. In fact, parenting has a huge impact on the choices kids will make on behalf of their well-being. Here are six practices parents can apply to help their children develop a health-promoting mindset, now and for many years to come.