How I help my kids learn healthy eating habits

Getting kids to eat healthily can be a freakin chore! They want quick snacks that crunch and taste good: enter Cheez-Its, GoldFish, and chips. Fruit snacks, ice cream, candy, Cheetos, M&M’s, you name it, they like it. But we want better for them. We want our children to grow to be healthy and strong.

I was super active when I was younger. I played softball, ran for fun, and went on long walks with friends. I ate whatever I wanted to, which most often was a bag of Doritos or McDonald’s French fries! I was fit and muscular until I went to college. Class schedules narrowed the amount of time I had to be active, but my junk food habit didn’t decrease with my activity level. Enter the freshman fifteen, yikes. From that point, I struggled to lose the same 15 pounds over and over again only to regain them because I was crash dieting rather than learning to eat a balanced diet in a way that suited my lifestyle. It wasn’t until recently (the last five years) that I learned to ditch dieting and focus on how my body felt. The payoff has been huge. No more emotional eating, no shame around food.

I’ve vowed to get my children into habits that will benefit them into adulthood.

To teach them to listen to their bodies and eat for fuel rather than out of boredom or poor habits. Struggling with weight is a heavy burden to bare. I struggled for a long time and my self-confidence took a hit! I won’t let that happen to them.

Since they were old enough to eat food, my husband and I made it a priority to help them make good choices with food (without making it seem like they were being preached to). We’ve talked very generally about the benefits of eating healthy food and how to incorporate the sweet stuff we want sometimes.

Evelyn LeVasseur

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