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Parents Role in Food Choices

April 27, 2014
Plain English Version

blogphoto_shopping_kid_mom_dad_family_junk_foodFood makers try to lure children to their products. They use advertising and images. They work to make children crave their food by smell and taste. It is a world not made by parents.

However, parents do decide what food their children are allowed to eat. A new study talks about the role of the parents. It says kids will try to eat foods that adults restrict.

Banning treats and fast foods may only make kids want them more. Insisting that kids only eat healthy foods may not make sense. As everyone knows, kids have a way of wanting what they have been told they cannot have.

Experts have ideas. Allow children to pick out a treat at the market. Give them choices among healthy foods. Adults should eat healthy foods themselves. Create balance at home. Do not create a world where food restrictions are part of daily life.

One example is to serve unprocessed foods like plain apples. Applesauce and apple juice are processed food, which is not as healthy as unprocessed food. Another idea is to treat each of your children the same way. For example, do not restrict an overweight child while letting another child eat whatever he wants. Steer both children toward healthy choices.

Snacks are a big problem. Years ago children ate breakfast, lunch and dinner. Maybe they had a snack after school. Nowadays children (and grownups) snack on juices, food bars and other treats all day. Parents are advised to try scheduling meals at regular times.

One idea is made “tongue in cheek.” Put healthy foods in hard-to-reach places. That will make children want them.

The important point is that parents play active and decision making roles in their children’s food habits.

Source: The New York Times                                                                                      April 21, 2014




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