Guide to a Healthy Family Ensure that the majority of the foods in your home are healthy. Substituting low-fat frozen yogurt and fruit for ice cream and sprinkles is a good example that eating healthy doesn’t mean swearing off desserts.
Model healthy eating patterns. Children learn by modeling—children who see their parents or caregivers buying, cooking, and eating healthy food are more apt to eat healthy foods themselves.
Avoid the use of food as a reward. Food shouldn’t be used as a measure of good behavior. Having a system that makes junk food a reward for good deeds promotes the wrong idea that healthy food is not as appealing as junk food or that it’s not something to look forward to.
Have meals as a family. Family meals are not only a good opportunity to share in your children’s lives, they also are the perfect venue to talk about healthy eating habits and engage your children in conversations about what a healthy meal looks and tastes like.
Limit the frequency of eating out. Not only is eating out expensive, it can also be unhealthy. Not knowing what goes into the food you are served makes it difficult to help your child choose something that is nutritious and appropriately sized.
“A healthy family environment is a major part of having a healthy child,” says psychologist Dr. Mary Alvord. “Making the healthy choice the easiest choice will help increase the overall well-being for everyone in your family”