While technology has brought us several benefits, some of these are causing far more damage, inadvertently, than good—instant access to junk and unhealthy foods, for instance. As adults, we are more than ever likely to give in to temptation and order unhealthy products from food-delivery apps on our phones. Feeling snackish? How about a deep-fried burger? Done with dinner, but not satisfied? Check the app for ice cream stores or dessert bars. This is our new reality. Instant gratification is here to stay.
But if we, as adults – knowing all the pros and cons of our behavior, are unable to break this cycle, imagine how vulnerable our children are. Of course, if you are worried about your kids being obese, seek professional help. If you’d prefer consultation online, Click Pharmacy is an excellent resource with certified pharmacists that can guide you. But here are a few tips you can follow when talking to your kids about the issue and empowering them to make the right choices.
Educate Yourself and Lead by Example
You kids learn more from what you do than what you say. If you tell them to eat their vegetables but binge on chips instead, you’re being inconsistent. Start by educating yourself first; this will especially help when your kids come up with follow-up questions! Make changes in your own lifestyle, and introduce change, and conversation, slowly into your kids’ lives – and be patient.
Help Them Cook Their Favorite Meals
One of the appreciable gifts a parent can give their child is teaching them to cook. Food fosters an excellent parent-child connection, and when you help them make their favorite meals, they not only eat healthily but also pick up a valuable life skill. In the process, you can tell them about the food industry and how it can, at times, use suspicious methods and ingredients. You can also initiate a conversation on obesity in kids, and help them see the logic behind eating healthy most of the time.
Children are incredibly curious, and involving them in ‘experiments’ can be beneficial. For instance, why not take them to a farmers’ market and show them the different types of fruits and vegetables available, and how the farmers grow them? Or better still, why not grow your own food? You and your children could try growing herbs and vegetables in your backyards or window sills, which then you harvest together. This would help them appreciate food even more, and encourage them to try new vegetables and cuisines.
Empower Your Children
Your children are wiser than they let on, and when it comes to helping them make healthy food choices, it is advisable to let them feel they’re in control of their decisions. Of course, they would still want an occasional Happy Meal, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But the crucial factor is to help them understand the problem and encourage an active lifestyle – away from gadgets, as much as possible – instead of merely laying down rules for them to follow. Addressing the ‘why’ will go a long way in shaping their young minds and sustaining their interest in eating healthy as they grow up.