From The Washington Post By Cara Rosenbloom: I’m fortunate that I get to teach parents and their children about healthy eating. I always tell grown-ups that they are role models for their children, but I also remind them that kids are teachers, too. Sound surprising? From toddler to tween, children display healthy eating habits that many adults forget to follow. When adults take the time to watch their little ones more closely, they are pleasantly surprised with what they learn. Here are four things children do that just may change your eating habits — for the better.
Kids bring lunch
You may have done away with your Star Wars thermos, but it’s wise to mimic the items that go into a child’s school bag. Plan your own day with these three things in tow:
- Lunch: If you pack a nutritious lunch, you can save money by avoiding the food court, and will be less likely to skip the meal since it is ready-made and within reach. A homemade lunch gives you greater control over the contents and portion size, so you are less likely to overeat.
- Snacks: Although you don’t get to play at recess, you can still tote portable healthy snacks (think string cheese or an apple) to stave off between-meal hunger. Kids tend to eat every three or four hours to keep their energy level stable and their mind focused on their work — that’s a great plan for you, too.
- Water: Carrying a reusable water bottle can steer you away from sugar-laden soda and juice, and keep you hydrated all day long. Even being slightly dehydrated can affect memory, concentration and cognition, which can be alleviated by sipping water throughout the day.
Kids only eat what tastes good
For kids, one bite of a “bad” food is never followed by a second bite. Adults are less discerning! How many times have you sipped flat soda or munched on stale popcorn just because it was in front of you?
For picky kids, a “yucky” food doesn’t get a second chance. Maybe they are on to something. Follow their lead and recapture the juvenile innocence of declining foods you simply don’t enjoy. There are better ways to get your calories than with stale popcorn.