The Secrets to Getting Your Children to Eat Healthfully

From Dr. Fuhrman's book Disease Proof Your Child:

1. Keep only healthy food in the house. Every person in the household should have the same food choices available.

2. Offer and feed a wholesome diversity of natural foods, vegetables, beans, raw nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit, while giving each child as much latitude as possible to eat what they prefer.

3. Don't attempt to manage your children's caloric intake. They can do that on their own.

4. If you, as parents, do not demonstrate proper respect for your own bodies by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and engaging in other healthful lifestyle practices, don't expect your children to do any better than you, now or in the future.

5. Educate your children about their nutritional needs and the importance of eating healthfully. Start this when they are young and continue to reinforce their learning, as they will be exposed to more toxic food choices as they get older and spend more time out of their home.

It is important to realize that it is never too late to teach your children the importance of eating healthy. As you learn, share enthusiastically with them. Work on improving your diets together. If your child is a teenager, let her read what you are reading. You may want to add that it will help their complexion and body shape. Even teenagers will make beneficial improvements in their diets when presented with compelling reasons. I have lectured to high school assemblies many times and am always impressed by how interested, enthusiastic, and willing to make changes teenagers can be. Research supports this willingness of adolescents to make significant dietary change when presented with accurate compelling information.1

1. Stevens VJ, Glasgow RE, Toobert DJ, et al. Randomized trial of brief dietary intervention to decrease consumption of fat and increase consumption of fruits and vegetables. Am J Health Promot 2002;16(3):129-134.

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That Girl - June 6, 2006 11:33 AM

You can certainly offer your children much healthier lifestyle choices without having them yourself.
Of course, it's much better if you can participate also, but it's defeatist (and incorrect) to think that if you are not good at something your children will not be also.
I have horrid eating habits I was determined not to pass onto my son - I was successful.
On the other hand, I am a lot more likely to exercize (and enjoy it) than he ever will be.
Education is just as powerful a tool as example.

Nancy - September 25, 2006 5:41 PM

we have a 3 yr old that will not eat vegitables or fruit. Canned or fresh.
She will stave rather than eat it and she may only eat 1 meal a day if we are lucky. What can we do?

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