Why Parent Diet Matters When it Comes to Feeding Kids
As a mom, caring for your little one is your superpower. We know you’re working hard to raise happy, healthy kids. We also know that raising kids is hard work, especially when it comes to getting kids to eat well. But taking care of your kid also means taking care of you, mom. Did you know that what moms eat can influence what their kids eat? It’s true! When parents choose to eat healthy foods, they serve as a positive model for their kids, which encourages children to make better food choices for themselves. In this blog post, we’ll talk a little bit about why what parents eat matters and discuss some different ways you can encourage healthy eating in your home by way of your own food choices.
Kids like to play copy-cat:
Kids love to mimic what they see their parents doing, and it’s a big part of how they learn many different behaviors. The same is true of food. If children see that their parents are eating healthy foods or trying new food that they have never seen, they are more likely to want to try it too! By making sure that you include healthy staples like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains on your plate, you can lead by example to teach healthy eating.
Show some enthusiasm!
Not only is it important for kids to see their parents eating healthy foods, but it also helps a lot if parents show some enthusiasm when they eat those healthy foods. For example, you might say, “I’m so excited about having roasted carrots with our dinner! This is my all-time favorite vegetable,” or perhaps something like, “Save some green beans for me, you know how much I love them!” Using positive language about healthy foods signals to kids that it is something they might like and enjoy as well.
Explain why you like it.
Talking about the healthy foods you love is great, and it’s often a way to start a food conversation with your kid- and an opportunity to teach them about nutrition. For example, if you say you love carrots, your little one might ask why, and you can explain to them that they helped you grow big and strong, and they keep you healthy because of their vitamins and minerals.
Try new foods
Trying new foods with your kids is also an important part of encouraging healthy eating and setting a positive example for kids. Trying new foods allows kids to become comfortable with new foods, rather than limiting their diet to the foods they already know they enjoy. Trying new foods also helps kids become more competent with food and supports their development of autonomy, or learning to make good food choices for themselves. Who knows, by tasting a new fruit or vegetable, you may discover a new favorite food that the whole family can enjoy!
Teaching your kids to eat healthily is important- but you’re important too, Mom! By making sure that your diet is healthy you can teach your little ones to eat healthily too. These are just some of the ways to lead by example with healthy eating. What other methods have you used to encourage your kids to try new foods and eat healthy, just like mom?