Kids pay attention to everything, including your eating habits. Teaching your kids about healthy food choices and positive weight management starts with modeling for them. If you are dieting, one way to do this is to communicate with them about why you are switching up your diet because it can help them better understand healthy decision making. Another way could be to prepare meals with them to teach them about portion control. Here is some advice from our friends at the TODAY Show. By the way, Happy Nutrition Month!
1. Not eating dinner, but picking food off your kid's plate
One of my patients admitted that she didn’t eat dinner because she wanted to lose weight, but basically picked off her child’s plate instead of feeding herself. This is so common that I call it “air food,” since people often treat food that went through the air and never landed on a plate as having calories that don’t count.
While this behavior seems fine with toddlers, it can become more dysfunctional as the kids got older.
Not only would the kids comment on mom not eating dinner, but worst of all when she tried to pick off her oldest son’s plate, he slammed his fork down and said, “Mommy, get your own!” She had no idea what to do then.
Change the habit: If you want to eat something that your child is eating, get your own helping and put it on your own plate. If it’s a high-calorie food, make sure it’s worth gaining weight from and savor every bite.
Otherwise, repeat to yourself these three essential little words: “It’s not mine.” Instead, choose something that comes without guilt as a side dish.