How To Change Your Eating Habits To Be A Role Model For Your Children

Collaborative post by another author. Children pick up our habits and watch us more than we could ever realise, meaning when it comes to healthy eating, we need to be role models. As a busy mum, poor eating habits can become part of daily life very easily, as we barely have time between working, running around after the kids, keeping the home clean, and (trying to) have a social life. 

A table covered with fruit and vegetables, a pro canva stock image

Small lifestyle choices and being more aware of how we snack can improve the health of you and your family. From meal prepping to choosing healthier foods at the checkout, below are our top tips for changing your eating habits to be a role model for your children. 

Understand Portion Sizes

If you do not understand your own portion sizes, how are you supposed to understand your children’s? If you eat more than you should, your children are more likely to do the same. If they see you going back for seconds and thirds they will expect to do it too.  You can find out more about portion sizes online, with many guides showing you just how much of each food group you should be consuming at each meal for different age groups. 

Using smaller plates can help with portion sizes too, having a full small plate can make you feel like you have eaten more than if you have the same amount of food on a large plate. If you tend to overeat, you may want to cut down slowly, until you reach a normal portion size for your age and gender. Cutting down can be difficult if you have consumed large portion sizes your whole life but Shake That Weight can help. 

They have a selection of weight loss shakes that can help you lose weight and feel fuller. As their meal replacement shakes contain protein, this can reduce hunger pangs and help get you used to eating smaller portions of your meals. As with any shake, these should be used in conjunction with exercise and a balanced diet. 

Meal Plan And Prep

When you plan and prep your meals, you are less likely to reach for calorific microwave meals or takeaway foods, as you have everything you need to provide a healthy and nutritious meal for the family. On the days you have more time, it is a good idea to sit down and plan your meals for the week. Create a shopping list with all the ingredients you need, so you won’t run out.

When you prep your meals make more than you need, but make sure you don't eat it all. The extra portions can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days or even frozen to defrost in an emergency. Having food ready beforehand can take some of the stress out of mealtimes and is better for the bank account too. Eating together as a family is important too, so having everything prepped will ensure that you can sit down with everyone and eat, rather than faffing around in the kitchen trying to make meals for everyone. 

Buy Healthier Foods

We all know the old saying, out of sight, out of mind, and this is definitely the case for food. If unhealthy food isn’t there, you simply can’t eat it. This is a straightforward way to change your eating habits, by replacing junk foods with healthier foods. That being said, balance is everything, and you should not cut out everything cold turkey, as you are less likely to stick to better habits. Don't ban yourself from food you love, just allow yourself to have a small amount occasionally instead.

When you choose healthier foods, your children will grow up making the same conscious choices. If they get used to going to the fruit bowl when they need a snack at home they will do the same when they are out too. Processed sugary foods should be an occasional thing rather than a go to daily snack. 

Cut Down On Snacking

Mums tend to do a lot of snacking, especially when it comes time to nibbling on food as we make the kids lunch or dinner. Little bits here and there soon add up, and the more you snack, the more your children will want to as well. When children catch us eating, they want something too, and you can’t exactly say no whilst you are sat eating a packet of your favourite crisps. If you do tend to snack a lot, find healthier ways to snack or choose more filling foods which will help you feel less hungry . Fruit makes for a great mid-morning snack or make a smoothie for you and your kids to get your five a day. 

Snacking later in the evening is worse, as your body takes longer to digest food before and during sleep, meaning you should stop snacking at least 2 hours before bed. This may mean eating dinner slightly later, so everyone feels full for the rest of the evening. It can be tempting to have dinner out of the way by 5, but this can cause you to feel peckish later. 

Changing your eating habits by understanding portion sizes, planning, and prepping meals in advance, buying healthier foods, and cutting down on snacking will all help you to become a better role model for your children. Not only this, but you could also lose weight and feel healthier. Making better choices is good for the whole family, so follow this guide to improve the overall health of your household. 

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