Whatcha Eating Mom? How to Be a Better Example to Your Kids

By: Arlene Pellicane

Does your child have a sonar system like mine?? My son Ethan could be down the hall, sirens blaring from his toy fire truck.? But when I reach for a snack ever so quietly from the pantry, he’s standing right in front of me in two seconds flat.? “What’s mommy having?" he asks grinning from ear to ear.? You can guess the next sentence.? “I want some."? The beep of the toaster oven, the opening of the freezer, the crackling of a bag…all of these sounds translate into, “What is mommy having and can I have some?"? When I’m holding an apple, I’m happy to be caught in the act of snacking.? But if I’m caught unwrapping a candy bar, it’s a totally different story.?

?We can tell our kids to eat vegetables, fruits and whole grains until we’re blue in the face.? But ultimately, our kids will follow what we do.? It doesn’t matter what you talk about.? What counts is what actually goes into your mouth.? So what are your eating habits?? Will you have a healthy child if he or she follows in your footsteps?? If the answer is no, then it’s time to make some nutritional changes.

?According to health author and speaker Danna Demetre, these are the top six nutritional mistakes most moms make with their children:

1.??????????? Too much juice

2.??????????? Too many hydrogenated fats

3.??????????? Too much sugar and soda

4.??????????? Too little fiber

5.??????????? Too little protein

6.??????????? Too few omega-3 fatty acids

?How are you doing with this list, both for your children and yourself?? You might be tempted to think, “Well, at least I’m doing better than lots of moms I know."? Don’t compare yourself to your friend who feeds her kids donuts and cookies for breakfast.? It doesn’t matter what other kids are eating.? It only matters what your kids are eating.? Are they getting the best shot at a healthy life from the foods you are serving them??

Our pediatrician suggested cutting out juice completely and serving water, milk and whole fruits instead.?? Serve fiber filled foods like oatmeal for breakfast.? Limit soda to very special occasions like birthday parties or skip it all together.??

It’s been predicted that one out of two children will develop juvenile diabetes in the next 10 years because of poor eating habits.? That is staggering!? You have to do everything in your power to make sure your child is not one of them.?? You do not want to become another statistic.? When you make the commitment to cut out soda, sugar, bad fats, and junk food from your diet, your kids will reap amazing health benefits.? They will catch your great eating habits.? The opposite is also true.? That’s why it’s up to you to model eating habits that will dramatically reduce your kid’s risk for diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer.? Now isn’t that a worthwhile reason to eat right, exercise and lose weight????

The next time your child catches you in the kitchen and asks, “Whatcha eating mommy?" make sure it’s something you’d be proud to share!

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