Tag Archives: healthy habits

mom and child picnic

Healthy Habits Start at Home

by: Jillian Ouhrabka, MS ,RD, LDN, CHC

Attention Parents! Do you have a picky eater or worry what your child is or is not eating? Well, help your child learn how to eat right, you are your child’s first teacher and they follow your example. This means your child picks up on all your habits and behaviors (good and bad)! 

 You are their role model and they want to be like you

 They will copy what they see you (the parent) do

 If you do or don’t try a food, they likely will too

 If you eat healthily, they will too!

Set a Good Example

  • Try new foods: If you try it, your child is more likely to too!
  • Keep introducing new foods: It often takes children about 11 times of seeing a new food before he/she will even attempt to try it. Don’t make a fuss if your child does not try it, just offer it and let them do the rest! 
  • Eat meals together and SIT down:
    • Use meal time to catch up on everyone’s day and be a family
    • Even if your child does not want to eat, have them sit at the table until everyone else is done and the meal is over (often times kids think if they don’t eat they can go play, breaking that notion will help them realize meal time is important)
  • Turn off distractions
    • This means television, cell phones, and video games
  • Shop, Cook, and Bake together
    • At the store, let your child pick out some new fruit or vegetables to try
    • Your child will be more likely to try new foods if they are involved in making them
  • Keep it positive
    • Avoid making faces at food or judging it before you eat it
    • If your child does not want to eat it, don’t force it-then food starts to become about control or lack there of

Your job is to provide healthy, nutritious food for your child, their job is to listen to their body and determine what they want and how much!

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The power of a breath

When was the last time you took a deep breath?

A moment of silence.  A deep breath. Feeling an inhale and the breath move down your throat to your body.  Your shoulders lifting, heart rate slowing, calmness fills you. The exhale pushes out the old energy and the inhale sparks your senses bringing new positive energy.

Being able to listen to your body, to stop your negative thought patterns, to recognize what you actually need takes practice.

Have you ever eaten a whole bag of chips, or come home from work, stood in front of the refrigerator or cupboard and gone into a food haze? You are eating everything you can and yet you are so unaware of the food you are eating. Does this happen to you? Have you ever eaten food you don’t like just because it is there? Does food have power over you or your life? You can start to change your food habits by becoming more aware. Are you actually hungry? Are you really tired? Did you just have a stressful meeting and now you are on your third donut and don’t even like them?

Food should be eaten to nourish the body, and help fuel your day but so often we eat it for emotional reasons.  Start to notice why you eat or overeat. Are you listening to hunger cues? If you are hungry, eat something. If you are not hungry, do whatever else it is you need.

To heal yourself and to change habits and behaviors you must first recognize what the problem is. Why do you feel anxious, tired, scared, happy, hungry, sad, or stressed?

Focusing on your breath can help you notice what your body needs. Start with a moment of silence. Turn off the radio. Close the office door. Shut off the television.  Start with a deep inhalation (take a deep breath).  With your eyes closed try to follow the air as it enters your throat, neck, and stomach. Feel your diaphragm expanding and your body relaxing. What is happening in your body? Do you feel calmer? Has your heart rate slowed, do you feel calmer? Feel your chest expand as your shoulders reach back, and then squeeze from your core and push out the air for an exhalation.  The exhale pushes out the old energy and the inhale enlivens the senses with new energy. Breathe in calmness, breathe out anxiety. Breathe in health, breathe out stress. Just breathe.