Mini Me: How Modeling Healthy Eating can be more Impactful than Teaching
How many times per day do you feed your kids? Some days it feels like 1 million, right? But in reality, most of us, and our littles, are fortunate enough to eat three to five times a day, including meals and snacks (which we think of as mini meals).
While we can’t always eat every meal with our kids, they see and learn from our eating habits - including what we pack for ourselves and them for work/school, meals we prepare and sit down to enjoy as a family, and foods we grab on the go. Recognizing this allows us to acknowledge that in a week, we have between 20 and 30 opportunities to model positive behaviors, teaching them that fresh is flavorful, food is fun and ultimately, eating should be enjoyable.
Littles learn about making healthy choices mostly because of the behaviors of those around them, with parents and caregivers being the ultimate influence. And while talking about nutrition can be teaching, we all learn best when shown rather than told. A few ideas we love include involving kids in meal planning (and preparation), giving them choices and opportunities to try familiar foods in new forms, and looking at nutrition holistically vs trying to get everything in at every meal. A string of #miniwins make for a mighty week, and long-term, more mindfulness.