Childhood Habits Are Hard to Undo - Let's Use It to Our Advantage

I was just thinking how wonderful it would be if parents used their power to create healthy eating habits.

I for one cannot eat a meal without a salad first. I'm a firm believer that this is what maintains my overweight sibling's cholesterol and sugar levels in top condition. Our family has an ingrained habit of: veggies first.
Watching TV me
ant time for oranges. My mother would peel them and pass them out. I got a little more creative and now other fruits are part of our TV viewing.

We can create habits, but habits are created by repeating behaviors. It's easier to create habits by role modeling them and we know that.

One of my coworkers started to bring fruits for her lunch and was asking my opinion about exercise programs. When I asked what motivated her to change she said that her child came home crying saying she doesn't want to be fat.

This week I read an article in the Chicago Tribune that made me feel helpless. The article states that we all know we are getting fat, we know the benefits of eating less and moving more, we know that getting fat is not good for your health and even with all that, the article ends with a gloomy message: we know we are fat, we know what to do to change, now leave us alone!

The author is right, and as a pediatrician more days than not I feel helpless, but if we leave you alone what is going to happen? Obesity is the only epidemic we have on our hands and if people are not willing to change it will be catastrophic.

I don't believe parents would do anything to harm their kids, but we are harming them.

Very unfortunately obesity is a chronic disease, because children do not wake up with a tummy ache, vomiting or high fever which would make parents rush to our offices asking for help.

Creating healthy habits can be very simple if you make feeding your family top priority.
Lets go back to basics: eat healthy, have fun with your kids, turn off your TV, sleep well.
 
By Jane Menezes

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