Starting off the summer we took a trip out of town to Orlando. The following weekend was filled with birthday and father's day celebrations all awhile both weekends were chalked full of anything other than fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. These past few weeks may have been a little bit out of the norm, but honestly, my children have a limited repertoire of food choices. The door to junk food haven has slowly been inching open until it full on came crashing down over the past two weeks.
Studies have shown that both adults and children have a tendency to migrate towards sugary foods. Food has been altered over the past few decades heightening the sugar taste lending a child or adult to crave more of that sweet satisfaction.
How do we as parents end this nasty cycle? Now I don't propose any sort of detox with flushes or smoothies or cleansing herbs (I would not even promote that to adults) but I would suggest a few things.
These are suggestions that I am about to introduce to RD Family Thompson:
1. Purge your house of all foods that are packaged, processed and loaded with chemicals and artificial colors. Out of site is out of mind (well maybe not out of mind right now but at least cuts down on the struggle of them seeing it and then whining for an hour).
2. Fill your refrigerator and pantry with healthy choices. Whole grain cereal, oatmeal, seeds, nuts, trail mixes, fruits and vegetables. There are tons of fruits and vegetables that are in season (which means they are also reasonably priced) right now.
3. One of my biggest challenges is introducing new foods to the children. I receive resistance on every side. Recently I purchased divided food plates that help teach a child about what to include on "their" plate. It takes after the My Plate diagram.
4. Have the kids help you pick 2 foods per week that they will try. For fun healthy recipe ideas take a look at ABCD Eat Right's Take Out Recipes- Healthy Kids Box. The 3x5 recipe cards can be displayed on the refridgerator, the kids can help choose the recipes that are displayed in them and you can take the recipe cards along with you when you shop. For more info on the recipe boxes visit: www.ABCDEatRight.com/parents
5. And lastly, be a repetitive role model. If your kids see you eating that burger, fries and milkshake of course they will want the same thing. Reassess what your personal health goals are and look at yourself more as a really important nutrition influence to your children.
Good luck and I will keep you posted on how we are doing.
Need more personal tips? Ask me, a nutrition expert and seasoned Registered Dietitian: Brandi@Abcdeatright.com