Five Rules for Healthy Eating

Smiling-veggies

American’s are some of the fattest people on the planet. Why is this? Simply put it is because our food is so cheap. Our food is so cheap for many reasons. The government subsidizes farmers to grow corn. So much so in fact those farmers sell corn for less than it costs to produce it. Where does all this corn go? We make gas, and of course high fructose corn syrup, and corn goes to feed lots to fatten the cows up before slaughter. Since we can produce corn for less than it costs to produce it that makes it cheaper to feed the cows, which in turn makes it cheaper for us to buy that food. Let’s not forget the government also subsidizes soy beans which are in the majority of all processed foods we consume, of course at a very low cost to us.

All of this high fat, cheap food is hard to get away from. So what then in today’s culture can we do to make sure our kids grow up eating healthy? There are five rules that are easy to follow that will help you to raise up a healthy family.

1. Eat at the table as a family as often as possible.

Even if you have a very busy schedule and can only manage to get everyone together once or twice a week, make sure to do this. It is documented that families that sit down and eat as a family four times a week have teenagers that perform better in school, are less likely to be depressed, have better social skills, and are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. It doesn’t really count if you have the television on. Turn it off and spend some time getting to know your family better. It is Important.

2. Be a good role model.

If you hardly ever exercise, and eat nothing but junk food, then your kids will follow suit. Most children have a fast metabolism so they can “handle” eating horribly and usually won’t be overweight, but the habits you are teaching them will bring a lifetime full of difficulty with weight struggles. Don’t expect your children to be active if you aren’t. By taking control of your own diet and exercising more you will find the added benefit of having more energy, you will feel better about yourself and start to lose weight as well. Being a good role model for your children is a ticket to a better life for yourself.

3. Get rid of the junk food

If you know there is some food that you children should not be eating, get it out of the house. Don’t make excuses like “oh we keep that for guests” or that is just “adults only” no excuses get rid of it. The fact is when you keep low quality, high calorie, and high fat foods in large quantities in your home, essentially means that your family is going to eat them. Simply put if you don’t want you children to eat something don’t buy it.

4. Be an active family

It’s OK to go to shopping malls and take in a movie at times, but do your best to take part in outdoor activities. Outdoor activities usually require moving around a lot more. And another benefit to being away from shopping malls and movie theaters is that when you are outside, it is not as easy to get access to all that bad food in the food court or at the theater. Most likely you will have to pack a lunch. By preparing your own food you can get in some nutritious meals while spending time with the family outdoors. Spend some time in nature, and teach your children to appreciate nature themselves so that one day they can pass on that love to their own children.

5. Be a parent, not a friend.

It may seem cruel to institute a take it or leave it philosophy with your children when it comes to eating, but this will insure that your children get the essential nutrition they need for optimal growth. Prepare one meal for the family and everyone must eat that meal. If the child refuses to eat what is prepared they must go without. No negotiation for pasta or chicken nuggets or hot dogs. The child might go to bed hungry but instinct will take over sooner or later and that child will eat what is given to them. Through time they will learn that when it is time to eat, you must eat what you are given or go without. This type of discipline will be accepted over time and the children will learn what is expected of them. This makes for a more balanced diet even for the pickiest eaters.