Teaching Kids Healthy Eating Habits Means Living It!

As I sit here watching The Biggest Loser and writing my post about teaching my kids healthy eating habits, I seriously consider lying and saying that we only let our kids eat lean and green. BUT, I won't do that.

Why is Being Healthy so Hard!

Honestly, I know that the best way to teach my kids healthy eating habits is to SHOW THEM healthy eating habits. Kids will do as we do and not what we say. I just want to know, why does being healthy have to be so damn hard? (you can read my own healthy lifestyle journey).

Teaching Healthy Eating Habits to Kids

Living a healthy lifestyle has been something my husband and I have struggled with all our lives and we do not want to pass that struggle on to our kids. Here is a list of some of 8 things that we do to teach our kids healthy eating habits.

1. We talk a lot about what is healthy and what isn't healthy and why a particular food isn't healthy. I show them what you can do to make it a healthier food. For example, pizza does not have to be unhealthy if you make it with a whole wheat crust, fresh tomato sauce, low fat cheese and veggies.

2. I stress to my kids that "everything in moderation" is a good policy (with everything in life.)

3. Get up and move at least 30 minutes every day. I want my kids to think of exercise as a natural part of their day, not as a chore.

4. We try very hard not to use food as a reward. I'll admit it is tough and inevitably it happens. But I rather it be an exception and not the rule.

5. Holidays are not all about food. They are about family and getting together and spending time with those you love. This one is definitely easier said than done.

6. I show my kids what a portion size is of all the foods they eat. We have a chart on our fridge that shows the portion sizes of typical foods like a slice of cheese, glass of milk, nuts, meat, fruit, veggies, etc.

7. It's ok to have dessert. Kids think that whatever they can't have or do must be really awesome. I want them to know that food doesn't have to be the enemy if you don't let it.

8. Explain why we need to eat. I describe food as the gasoline you put in the car.A car MUST have gas to go, but the kind of gas you put in makes a big difference. If you put crappy gas in the car (mixed with sand and tar), your car may go, but it's going to go putt putt and make a lot of strange noises and won't go for very long before it gets all clogged with gunk. But if you put high quality gas in your car, it will run smoothly and last much longer. The same goes for our own bodies. Our bodies need food, but we have a choice as to the quality of food we put into our bodies.

healthy for mehealthy for me
Definitely the hardest part of this is practicing what I preach. I have to be healthy for me first to set the example. What tips do you have for teaching your kids healthy eating habit?

You can also find MIchele McGraw at Scraps of My Geek Life where she writes about families using technology to enhance their lives. She also writes about social media, digital scrapbooking, running and trying to live healthy lifestyle and the life of a mom of four. Watch Digital Soul Hour, her tech show on MomTV every Friday at 1:00 pm ET. @ScrappinMichele