Parenting

Healthy Eating Alone Is Not The Answer


Along with eating healthier we need to be more active. The two go hand in hand. Healthy eating + physical activity = a healthier mind and body.

You will need to be a good role model for your children. Don't look for the closest parking space. Take the stairs, rather than the elevator or escalator. If your children have bicycles and it is safe, rather than driving them everywhere, tell them to ride their bikes or walk. I can remember walking everywhere as a child. Yes, I agree, it was safer back then, but we still had our share of bad people too. So use your best judgment and encourage your children to walk or ride their bikes. If your children see you walking the length of the parking lot or taking the stairs they will follow your example. In fact, I would go so far as to say if they tell you they want to take the escalator or elevator, or ask why you are parking so far away, tell them since you didn't get to do all of the walking you thought you would today and you want to be sure you get it in, you are walking instead of riding, or parking up close.

By having an exercise plan yourself and taking care of your body by eating healthy, your children are more likely to follow your example. In the process you will also teach them that it is OK to miss a day or two of exercise and that sometimes you will want that piece of cake, pizza or mega burger. For example, every year on my birthday I treat myself to my favorite burger of choice. Yes I might have lean hamburger meat throughout the year, but the one on my birthday has the works on it. One of my friends children were around on my birthday one year and said to me, "My mommy says those aren't good for you". I told her that her mom was right, but since it was my special day and I only have one on my special day that it was OK. Of course, her mom wanted to smack me one because now she wants one of her birthday too!

Remember as the parent you need to set the parameters. Two important lessons to teach your children are "moderation is the key" and "no one is perfect"; we all slip on occasion. Tell them that it is OK to slip up once in a while, just don't make it a habit. It is also OK to treat yourself once in a while.

Bottom line is that your children are going to look to you and you have to be there for them as a healthy role model, but also let them know that no one is perfect all the time. As my one boss said way back when "that's why the good lord made erasers".

Copyright 2005, DeFiore Enterprises

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