6 tips to help set a mealtime example for your kids

6 tips to help set a mealtime example for your kids

Children watch and follow what you do, at mealtimes too

Lucille Beseler, RDN

Is co-author of Nurturing with Nutrition and a former president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics representing over 100,000 Nutrition professionals, while also active as a clinical dietitian in South Florida.

Article in collaboration with: Melanie Bazarte, PhD

Be a mealtime role model for your kids. These 6 tips can help!

Kids watch everything you do, and think you're the example they should follow. That's true, whether it's how you work, relax, drive, exercise and eat. So you need to realize that they learn their nutritional habits from watching, not listening. What you DO is more important than what you SAY!

  1. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, says fueling our bodies is not important. Studies say kids perform better in school with breakfast.
  2. Drinking soft drinks while your child drinks milk gives the child the idea that nutrient-empty and often caffeine-loaded drinks are an acceptable alternative.
  3. Buying unhealthy food says you don't care what you eat. 
  4. Obsessing about weight, fat, calories, and fats in food says food is our enemy instead of our friend. Fat is an important part of a growing child's diet.
  5. Serving foods you dislike and don't eat, then expecting your child to eat them says, "Do as I say, not as I do," and is not being a good role model.
  6. Shoveling in food while you're in the car, at the refrigerator, while watching a screen or in your bedroom says you can do the same thing, even though those bad habits can lead to increased weight gain.

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