As parents we are always trying set a good example for our kids. We work hard to teach them right from wrong, how to be polite, and set them on the road to success. Milestones like taking their first steps and learning to write their name are celebrated. But along the way, we sometimes forget one thing that is critical to your child’s success and future health. That thing is eating a well-balanced healthy diet m- I know, I know for fun, cool or adventurous. But here is the thing Moms and Dads we are failing at it. With almost 1/3 of 5-17 year olds being overweight or obese1, we are failing at it in a BIG way. Sure when they are babies we fuss over what foods to introduce first and in what order. We buy baby cereals, steam veggies and puree fruits. But soon enough you kids are eating french fries off the floor and you are just happy that they are helping to clean up. We lose sight of the fact that nutrition needs to be a priority for not only our kids, but also for ourselves as parents. And hey I get it, sometimes that is not easy.
We lead busy lives filled with play dates, work meetings, and extracurricular activities. Sitting down to meal plan and cook homemade meals does not always happen. For me a trip to the grocery store feels like being the leader of a three ring circus when I bring the kids with me. Honestly I just want to get in and out as quickly as possible, without one of the kids pulling everything off the shelves. Priorities shift from picking out “the best” food for our families to picking out something (anything!) that everyone will eat and not cause a meltdown at the dinner table. And when you have kids running around the store with you or you need to get out of there to head to soccer practice you don’t have a lot of time to do research and compare product. But it is time to lead by example when it comes to food and focus on the facts!
By focusing on the facts I mean taking a moment to look at the nutrition label on the food that you are buying. Looking past or ignoring the fancy advertising and going straight to the source of the information you need to make better choices for your family. And this is not just something for parents to do, kids can and should be involved in this too. Turn your child into a mini detective and ask them to look at the Nutrition Facts label too. Now I am not suggesting you get your kids to start counting calories, but something as simple as what is a serving size for this product. For example, is it 4 crackers or 10 crackers?
By starting to look at the labels and teaching your children to do the same you will be able to tell which foods might be the better option for your family Here are the 3 key things to look at when starting to look at nutrition labels.
You just might be surprised at what you find when you look at the labels. Hubby took the kids grocery shopping and brought back what I would consider a “junk” cereal. But when I actually looked at the nutrition label surprisingly it was not that far off the cereal I would normally buy for the kids. This made me thing twice about my bias towards what I *thought* to be a much healthier option, as it actually is not.
Lesson learned. LOOK at the labels to find out serving sizes and nutritional value of the foods you are buying. We owe it to ourselves and our kids to focus on the facts and make better choices when it comes to the groceries we buy to feed our families. Learn more about reading nutrition labels and making better choices for your family. (Don’t worry you are still allowed to have cookies, just not every day and and maybe only 2 instead of the whole box)!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are strictly my own.
1 – http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2012003/article/11706-eng.htm