Healthy eating is the foundation of a healthy life. Here is how you can raise nutrition-smart kids.
We all know childhood obesity is a national health issue. Seventeen percent of kids and teens are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But when the problem strikes in your own home, you realize just how delicate and complex it can be. Pediatricians say small changes to your family's routine can help you raise a healthier eater. First, try not to call food a treat or reward. It gives food too much importance. Ice cream is just ice cream. It should be enjoyed because it tastes good-- in moderation, of course. And by the same token, experts say withholding food should not be used as a punishment, either. Make healthy eating a family affair. You need to get viand from all the stakeholders in your child's life, including your child care provider. And if you're divorced, talk to your ex about reinforcing good habits in both households. Turning off the television at mealtimes and limiting eating to the kitchen and dining room can also help. And avoid snacking in front of the TV. And finally, make gradual changes so that the whole family gets used to this new approach to food. Setting simple goals will go a long way.