Are You Training Your Child to Be Overweight?
We all want the best for our kids. You want your kids to have fun and to look and feel great about themselves. We do all we can to help provide them with whatever we can to lead active, healthy lifestyles. However, how many times have you seen your kids mimic what you do or say? They are absorbing the negative messages and behavior we wished they’d never seen or heard.
Even if your kids are active and slender now, you need to be aware of subtle ways you could be teaching your kids poor habits. Take note of these warning signs that you could be setting your kids up for a lifetime of bad habits and worse yet obesity.
Warning Sign #1:
- Do you regularly skip breakfast?
- Do you often eat Pop-Tarts or fast food breakfast sandwiches in the car?
- Do you eat together as a family?
- Do eat your meals in a hurry, everyone grabbing what they can anywhere but at the dinner table?
Kids need to see regular meal times as part of a consistent lifestyle rather than something that’s jammed into the cluttered corners of a hectic life.
People often tend to eat larger portions and make bad choices when they are constantly grabbing food on the run or eating in front of the TV. If you’re so busy to make time for healthy eating, some serious evaluation of your life needs to happen.
There are lots of reasons to avoid over-scheduling your family life, but setting a good example for your kids about making their health and fitness a priority is one of the most important.
Warning Sign #2:
- Do you sign your kids up for soccer or dance to make sure they remain active but don’t do anything for yourself?
- Are all your kids fitness activities organized and scheduled with very little free time left to simply run around?
- How often do you walk places as a family or do strenuous activities such as yard work together?
- Kids need to see fitness not as something you do for an hour a day a few days a week but rather a series of choices they make every day.
- Warning Sign #3:
- Are you constantly complaining about your body in front of your kids?
- Do they hear you talk about food being “bad”?
- Do they hear you talk about eating healthy food as though it were a burden or chore?
- Do you dicsuss exercise as if it were torture?
Proper eating habits should be a matter of fact health issue, not a moral judgement call. Yet so many of us fall into this trap every day and worse, we do it within earshot of our kids.
Our kids will absorb our attitudes towards weight and food, including our perceived powerlessness against tempting foods or that exerxise is inherrently difficult, unpleasant, or undesrable. Watch the language you use about weight, diet and exercise. Show your kids that it’s possible to make better choices most of the time without feeling deprived or burdened. If you crave an ocassional treat go ahead and indulge you and your family without going on and on about how bad you are being by snekaing a treat or how it will go straight to your hips.
Show your kids ways they can enjoy exercise by naturally incorporating fitness into their every day lives. Teach them that nourishing their bodies is more important and should be a top priority. Model healthy attitudes about weight, eating and exercise.
Doing these things will give them the tools they’ll need to live the healthiest lives possible while also helping ensure that you will be an active presence in their lives for a lot longer!
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