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Healthy Eating & Your Kids: Stay Positive

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: Kids don't always make the best choices when it comes to food. So, how can you help your kids eat healthier without setting unrealistic expectations?
Air Date: 7/2/14
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Marci Warhaft-Nadler
Marci Warhaft-Nadler is a body image advocate, eating disorder survivor and founder of the Fit vs. Fiction body image workshops for schools, that uses images and real life stories to break down the dangerous myths related to beauty and fitness in an image obsessed world. She writes for the Huffington Post and is the author of The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents: Helping Toddlers, Tweens and Teens Thrive, which gives parents the tools they need to empower their kids with the confidence they deserve.
  • Book Title: Body Image Survival Guide for Parents: Helping Toddlers, Tweens and Teens Thrive
  • Guest Twitter Account: @Fit_Versus_Fiction
Healthy Eating & Your Kids: Stay Positive
Kids don't always make the best choices when it comes to eating healthy.

And no wonder, with all the sugary, fatty, processed foods that are marketed to them. Chocolate bars and cookies are constantly "reinvented" with different flavors and textures; but it's hard to reinvent an apple.

While you want to suggest healthier options for your kids, you also don't want to use negative language or criticize their eating habits.

So, how can you help your kids appreciate their bodies and eat healthier without setting unrealistic expectations?

Marci Warhaft-Nadler is a body image advocate, eating disorder survivor and founder of the Fit vs. Fiction body image workshops for schools, that uses images and real life stories to break down the dangerous myths related to beauty and fitness in an image obsessed world. In this segment, she joins Andrea and Lisa to share some tips for making sure you approach your kids' health and wellness the right way.

For example, it's important to focus on what they "can" do instead of what they "shouldn't" do when it comes to food choices. You need to keep providing kids with better choices, always having the healthier options available, even though they might not actively choose those healthier options.

Don't be discouraged... they are hearing the messages, even though they might not be implementing the logic. Remember, kids DO mature. As they get older, they feel more empowered when decisions come from themselves.

One good tip is to make the benefits of eating healthy more specific. Don't just say, "healthier bodies are stronger bodies," but rather something like, "by eating healthy you'll be able to kick the soccer ball harder," or "you'll be able to run faster."

Is there a time when you should step in and take more action?

It depends on your kid... if you start to see "symptoms" of excess sugar and fat, such as them being sluggish and/or moody, you might need to make a more proactive change.

Ultimately, you just need to keep being a good example. Kids might not be ready right NOW, but you can't stop giving those messages because eventually they will be ready.
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