Trap #3: A Kiddie Food Diet
If your family meals are dictated by kids' preferences for high-fat, high-calorie, low-fiber foods, it's a sure route to weight gain -- for both you and your children. "If they're not good for you, these foods are probably not good for your kids," says Cathy Nonas, RD, author of Outwit Your Weight (Rodale).
Food fix: Make healthier versions of kid classics. Prepare macaroni and cheese with skim milk and low-fat cheese, says Bauer. Serve baked-potato fries or mashed potatoes made with skim milk or even sweet potatoes "they're loaded with disease-preventing beta-carotene. Bake your own chicken fingers so you know your kids will be eating more chicken and less breading. Also, be vigilant about introducing healthy, grown-up entrees like skinless chicken breast, fish filets, and lean beef or pork. Try to prepare two vegetables for dinner each night (such as a salad and green beans) to educate your family's palate. "Studies show women set the pace for healthy eating in a family," says Nonas. "If Mom's eating more vegetables, everyone in the family will, too."