By Lianne Castelino www.whereparentstalk.com
First Lady Michelle Obama’s valiant, noble and critically important crusade against the $600 Billion food and beverage industry with the goal of getting young Americans to eat healthy is heating up. Targeting fast food advertising, while important is one big slice of the pie. There are other morsels to this unhealthy eating epidemic that need to be considered.
A child’s view towards food and healthy eating is shaped from the very first piece of solid food that enters his or her mouth.
What they are fed and how they are fed in those early days around 6 months of age will influence a variety of eating-related factors including: likes and dislikes of certain foods, appreciation of portion control, understanding of when they are hungry and when they are full, their view of healthy foods versus unhealthy foods, the pros and cons of snacking.
The fact is: whatever eating habits are created in a child from those early days, is what they learn for life. Yes, some bad habits can be changed, but why go down the path of bad habits, when starting with a solid foundation of exposure to healthy food makes sense.
It’s not always easy, and yes children change their minds from one minute to the next. However, those are not solid enough reasons to stop. Consistency of the healthy eating message to kids is key.
These topics are covered in our award-winning DVD, Yummy In My Tummy by internationally-renown nutritionist Louise Lambert-Lagace, who has been writing about and delivering this message for well over 20 years now. Finally, hopefully, it’s being heard by the masses.
A child who is exposed to fresh fruits and vegetables, and natural, wholesome foods likely won’t be craving a greasy burger on a regular basis. They likely won’t be as influenced by relentless marketing campaigns by fast-food companies because they understand that healthy choices come first. A bowl of chips or a piece of fried chicken become guilty pleasures, rather than everyday staples in their young minds.
Teaching parents how to make healthy choices, giving parents the tools to make healthy decisions regarding food for their family is crucial to the healthy eating message spreading.
What children are taught at home is likely what they will do outside the home. The stronger the message at home, the greater the resistance to the advertising and fast-food giants.