Setting Our Kids Up for a Healthy Success

27. January 2011 01:50

Parents know how difficult it can be to get our kids to get healthy food. With such a large assortment of junk food available, once kids get a taste of a sugary or sweet processed snack, getting them to eat an apple or carrot sticks again can be an uphill battle. While an occasional treat in moderation is certainly okay, setting kids up with a healthy lifestyle of eating nutritious foods from the get-go will make it much easier for these same kids to have healthy eating practices going into adulthood.

It is much harder to convince a teenager or a young adult to eat healthy if they are not in the habit of doing so. Starting when they are younger helps to have these habits in place and part of their everyday lives. As parents, my husband and I simply have made some things available in our home and others not available. We do buy a few yummy snacks for crunching on, but they are mixed with other snacks. My daughters love to eat almonds, apples, carrot sticks, peanuts, low-salt Triscuits, and yogurt - foods that we feel are a healthier option along with Goldfish crackers and pretzels on occasion. In addition, we only buy whole grain bread and pasta, never have soda in the house, and offer plenty of water to keep them hydrated. (Dehydration is commonly confused with hunger even in adults. If you think you are hungry between meals, try drinking a glass of water first. If you feel satisfied, then it was dehydration.)

Anything we can do to eat healthy most of the time makes those time-to-time trips to grab ice cream even more enjoyable. We can savor the sweetness knowing it is truly a special treat.

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