What You Can Learn From Healthy Parents
Originally posted by +Carolyn Richardson on Aug 03, 2013 10:00 AM in
You don’t have to be a parent to benefit from the habits moms and dads exhibit to keep their kids happy and healthy. Use these tips to help you on your path to a healthier lifestyle.
Pack Healthy Snacks
Whenever a mom is set to leave the house, she has healthy snacks available to throw into her bag for when her child is hungry between meals.
Your turn: Keep pre-cut vegetables, fruit, and lean protein snacks such as hard-boiled eggs, string cheese, or nut butters in prepackaged containers to make snack time that much easier. Scour the web for protein bars or other snack recipes. You may replace a more processed food with a newer, more nutritious goodie like these homemade grab-and-go snacks.
Encourage Hydration and Healthy Drinks
Healthy parents make sure their kids get enough water and other liquids to drink throughout the day. It’s not just about food, it’s also about taking a water break every now and again and controlling or eliminating the drinking of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Your turn: If you’re a soda or non-100% fruit juice drinker, replace at least one sugar-sweetened beverage with fruit or herb-infused water. Try a squeeze of lime in mineral water, or a squeeze of orange juice in soda water for the flavor you seek from a soft drink.
Parents often know what their kids are eating because they plan in advance, with a menu on the fridge, or regular grocery shopping trips to keep the kitchen stocked with staples.
Your turn: Planning ahead makes it easier to stick to healthy choices so plan when you’ll cook at home and when you’ll eat out. Even if you eat the same thing for breakfast each morning, note when you may need to replenish your stores of fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and other pantry needs.
Schedule Rest and Play
In addition to the menu, parents keep their kids on a regular sleep-wake schedule with a set-bed time, and naps as needed. As kids get older, outdoor activities and playtime is also scheduled where both mental and physical exploration is encouraged which helps kids (and moms and dads) relieve stress.
Your Turn: If you’re not regularly getting adequate sleep, carve out quiet time that may help your transition to bed go more smoothly. Try to get in bed earlier and turn off the television, your smartphone, and any other lights. In addition, be mindful of the best bedtime snacks.
Don’t Demonize Foods
Healthy parents are savvy about not labeling foods as “bad” or “good”. They play up the good stuff, but dare not demonize certain foods lest they draw too much attention from a rebellious child, or worst make a child overly anxious. By encouraging moderation with sweets, candy, and cake, kids can learn balance.
Your Turn: Try to consciously stop speaking negatively about certain foods you eat. Cut out saying “I shouldn’t be eating this,” or “I can’t have chocolate.” Avoid talking to others conversely as well, such as “you can eat that, I can’t.” This can help you develop a healthier relationship with food.
Limit Processed Foods
Healthy moms love to find natural foods presented in a kid-friendly way and improve the healthfulness of a heart meal like macaroni and cheese by adding veggies.
Your Turn: Find fun ways to eat healthier food. Lightened-up desserts and skewers make fruit and veggies more desirable to snack on.
Don’t Talk About Weight
By modeling and talking positively about the affects of good habits, rather than focusing on weight, kids develop intrinsic motivation to follow healthy habits. This promotes a routine that is rooted in bettering themselves, as opposed to trying to please others or find acceptance in their parents.
Your Turn: Write down 5 non-weight related reasons why you want to improve your habits. Be it a physical activity, longer life, or wearing certain clothes, find personal reasons beyond a number on the scale why it matters to you to get healthier.
Take Care of Yourself
One of the hardest things to do as a parent is find me-time, but the happiest and healthiest parents show their kids the importance of self-care. By staving off stress by filling up your own cup, you have more to pour out to others. When you’re happy, you make better choices for yourself and others and this promotes self-confidence.
Your Turn: Consider one thing that you wished you had done more often in the last month. It could be a hobby such as scrapbooking, or entertainment like going to a concert, or even getting a massage. Plan to do this at least once in the next month.
Focus on the Positive
When mistakes are made, parents know that expressing how to make improvements works better than focusing on the mistake that was made. By showing kids that they’re capable of good behavior, you feed their inner-desire to do their best.
Your Turn: Pat yourself on the back right now. Now write down three things that you do well everyday whether it’s related to food, physical activity, or simply being considerate of others.
Don’t Apologize for Healthy Convictions
Last, but certainly not least, healthy moms aren’t ashamed, nor do they hide their preference for healthy food and physical activity for their kids. They ask more questions with confidence, and demand explanations for non-compliance. They are also not afraid to ask or seek out healthy alternatives for their kids in school and social settings.
Your Turn: Make an extra effort to ask when more fresh fruit will be delivered or ask a restaurant waiter if there are healthier cooking methods for a dish you like. Don’t be afraid to speak up for what’s best.
What habits have you learned from your parents that you practice, or have passed along to your kids?
Original post was from: For all you patents out there: http://caloriecount.about.com/you-can-learn-healthy-parents-b611525
You don’t have to be a parent to benefit from the habits moms and dads exhibit to keep their kids happy and healthy.
Use these tips to help you on your path to a healthier lifestyle.