By five years of age, most of us have established our food and fitness preferences. Wow! With this in mind, if we are able to start our children with healthy habits at an early age by leading by example, we will set them up for success in leading a healthy lifestyle.
- Look at Labels: Use as a teaching moment to talk about looking for food with shorter ingredient lists and how to read serving sizes, percentages, etc.
2. Teach at the Grocery Store: Talk about food items and where they come from – “Dirty Dozen vs Clean 15 The Dirty Dozen™ is a trademark term used to define the twelve crops that farmers typically use the most pesticides on, versus, the Clean 15™ which is also a trademark term to describe the fifteen fruit and vegetable that have the lowest amount of pesticide residue. When you’re looking at your grocery list budget, try prioritize your food buying decisions using this data. If you are able to afford to buy organic produce it appears that is a good choice.”
3. Cook Together: Make recipe cards, cut foods with cookie cutters, make easy trail mixes together, or name a meal your child helped with like, “Rowan’s Yummy Pasta.”
4. Support Local: Buy from local farms, butchers, etc and talk about the process of farm to table.
5. Prepare One Meal for All: Expose your child to various food items and sit and talk together background music on. Make one meal for everyone (not a meal for item for each person). Ask your child to take a “no thank you” bite to expose their palette to various food times regularly.
6. Get Active: dance in the am, make an obstacle course, tag outside, hike, kayak, etc.
Cook together, eat together, say active together, and be together!