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How to Encourage Healthy Eating Habits with Kids

by Marissa on May 14, 2012


Last month as I caught up on the April issue of Vogue, I was thumbing through the pages when an article entitled ‘Weight Watcher” caught my eye. It was about a mom who put her 7-year-old on a diet.

I started right in and the further I read, the more disturbed I became.

The writer, a mother of an overweight seven-year-old, described the Weight Watchers-type diet onto which she signed her daughter against the backdrop of her own lifelong struggle with weight and food.

Horrified at what I was reading, I hoped that by the end, the author would redeem herself and win me back over to her side. She never did. The next day, I was still disturbed. When I went online to find the article, I found that others had been equally as troubled.

I’m not a parent but I hope to be one day and any maternal instinct I have tells me that this mother’s approach was wrong.

I’m all about health and wellness for the whole family where weight loss occurs as a side effect.

The more I thought about some of the mistakes the Vogue mother made, I wanted to re-frame her actions with more constructive tips.

I appreciate all the dedicated, hard-working parents and understand that parenting isn’t always easy and not so black-and-white as I’ve outlined above. So if you’re doing what you can and your heart is in the right place, I applaud you!

How do you encourage healthy habits at home?


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I like healthy snacks because it makes me feel better if my kids don't eat that great at mealtime. Sometimes I mix in other healthy things into snacks that my kids already eat all the time. Like, they love apples, so sometimes I cut up apples and carrots together and they end up eating more carrots than usual. Or, right now, I am trying to get my 1 1/2 yr old to eat almonds, so I mix a couple in with cheerios, raisins, dried cranberries etc., things she already eats and likes. And occasionally for a treat or reward, I will mix in some mini chocolate chips for my 3 yr old.

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