The Parent Diet

You tell your children to, “drink your milk”, “finish those veggies” and “No, you can’t have ice cream right before bed”.

1. Eat those Vegetables. You always try to make sure that there’s a healthy, well rounded meal, in front of your little ones. You always make sure they finish their veggies. Now, take a good look at your plate. Did you eat yours? Lead by example as well as get the healthy benefits. Try to eat your veggies first. They tend to follow your lead. This is great especially if you have a picky eater. You are most hungry at the beginning of each meal. They will be more likely to scarf down that pile of greens. For us “Grown-ups”, it gives us all of the nutrients, AND helps us fill up a little sooner.

2. Drink milk. Even if it’s chocolate. (I take my vitamins with chocolate milk every morning) Most kids DO get plenty of milk. They have a it at school with their lunch, they drink the milk in their bowl of cereal, and they enjoy a glass with dinner. They also get a lot of calcium from yogurt and those kid favorite, cheese sticks. Adults under the age of 50 need 3 servings per day, and after 50 you’ll need 4 servings. So if you need to add that chocolate, go right ahead.

3. Bedtime Snacks. A bedtime snack is fine, the trick is to be cautious of what you decide on. Instead of ice cream, grab a cup of berries with fat-free whipped topping, or a bag of microwave popcorn (Much better than that bag of chips). After you’ve finished your snack, turn off the kitchen light, brush your teeth, the kitchen is closed for the night.

4. Limit the sweet treats. How many parents give their kids all of the candy they ask for? Hopefully, not many. The best time to eat a sweet treat is actually when you have just eaten a healthy meal. Your body absorbs the sugar at a slower rate. It also prevents that rapid drop in blood sugar that can make you crave sugar.

5. Sit down for each meal. Multi-tasking is one of a mom’s requirements, but when you’re eating, you should be sitting down. If you have 5 things going on and you’re grabbing a spoonful of this here, and a handful of that there, while loading the dishwasher, checking your cell phone, filling out reading charts, you aren’t noticing when your body has had enough. You’ve confused your body. So, sit down, even if its a quick meal.

6. No snacks before dinner…period! As the only one that cooks in our home, I’m completely guilty of this. I like to sample what I cook. It’s one thing to taste…ONCE…maybe twice, but 5 or 6 times? I’m not sampling anymore, I’m flat out eating. They say those extra bites each day can add up to a POUND in a month. Sound familiar. That extra weight sure snuck up on me…a pound a month.

Long story short… follow your own rules, for a healthier lifestyle. Your kids will thank you.