Be a good role model: Children imitate their parents so if you’re mindlessly nibbling on chips while you’re watching TV or going straight to the fridge or sweet cupboard after a tough day, your kids are likely to follow suit. Similarly, if you take out your stress in the gym or by going for a run, and snack on carrots, your kids are more likely to copy this too.
Practice moderation: Change the culture to support better dietary choices. Having a cupcake on a special occasion is fine, but eating cupcakes on a daily basis can set a child up for weight issues down the line. If you feel like dessert, serve your child a bowl of berries with a dollop of cream.
Limit device use: Cell phones, tablets, TV, Play station all have a strong connection with obesity. Not only do they stop kids from exercising and getting outside, they’re also linked to stress and depression. In addition, when children (and adults) are hooked to devices, they often snack and eat mindlessly.
Clean up your kitchen: It is human nature to take what we see first. So, stock your pantry with healthy snacks. Wash and cut vegetables so they’re ready to eat and then store them in the front of the refrigerator.
Plan ahead: Take-aways and fast food are quick and easy – and packed with fats and sugars. Plan and prepare meals ahead. Invest in a slow cooker so you can prepare meals in the morning and they’ll be ready in time for dinner.
Eat smaller portions: Portion sizes, especially for kids, are much larger than they should be. So, even if you’re trying to make healthy meals, your kids may be overeating. Downsize your dinner plates and if kids want seconds, focus on vegetables first.
Get creative: Think about food and exercise in different, more creative ways. Rather than always having apples, for example, let your children choose a new fruit each week. Exercise isn’t just sport or the gym. Make it fun – play musical statues or play soccer in the garden, park further away from the supermarket so you need to walk. Dancing around the house is a great way to exercise.