Helping your child eat properly can be a daunting task. But with obesity rates for children off the charts, it is one parent “to-do” you cannot ignore. The early onset of obesity-related disease like diabetes and high blood pressure are enough to scare any parent. Here are the Top 10 Tips for creating a low-fat diet for your children.
Start Small, Think Big
Major dietary changes can be quite an adjustment for everyone. Start with small changes every week and ease into it so it’s not such a jolt to the system.
Avoid the Term “Low-Fat”
Focus instead on eating healthy. Fat has negative connotations and rightly so, but it is an easy leap for a child think “I am eating low-fat foods because I am fat.”
Don’t Eat in Car
Drive-through are some of the biggest fat offenders so avoid them at all costs. Yes, you can find healthy choices at all the major chains but your child isn’t begging to go to a burger joint for their taco salad…
Shop on Outside of Supermarket
You would be amazed at what foods you do not need down those meandering aisles. The fresh unprocessed foods (and often lower in fat) are on the outskirts of the store. It will also help you and your child avoid those impulse grabs.
Plan, Plan, Plan
There is nothing worse than coming home from work to screaming children asserting “I’m starving” in stereo. Doubtful, but still the maternal impulse to “feed them now” kicks in and you grab what you have. Avoid high-fat low-nutrition meals by planning in advance.
Just Say No!
Are they children or seasoned mini-salespeople? Don’t cave to the whining and give in to high-fat snacks and meals. At the end of the day, you are in the right and eventually they will realize it too—in about 30 years.
You’d be amazed where fat is hiding. Become label savvy and sidestep those traps.
Purge the Pantry
This seems like a no-brainer, but seriously, how much fatty, nutrient-poor and no-good-for-you foods do you have in there? Don’t make them an option—clean out that pantry and don’t go down that snack aisle again.
Keep It Simple
Kids are always looking for a grab-and-go snack or a in-a-hurry-fixing lunch, so make it easy on them and you. Have accessible low-fat snacks at all times. Think fresh fruits and veggies, washed and ready to snack. Add some whole grain crackers, pretzels and veggie chips, and they will be snacking low-fat style in no time.
“Do as I Say, and as I Do”
Modeling is one of the primary ways children learn. Show them you too are eating low fat for your health and they will follow suit. Sneak a candy bar before dinner and they will want one as well. What have you got to lose but a few pounds and points off your cholesterol?