153. What are you teaching your kids about nutrition?

By: Michael Beiter

"I don't want my kids seeing me weighing food and thinking Mom's crazy, why is she so obsessive with her food."
 
This is a serious consideration that gets brought up when I talk to parents about their nutrition.
 
It is especially powerful because usually you can point right back to the food environment you grew up in and find the same choices, habits, and routines your parents had with their eating. They can be found in your life today maybe 20, 30, or 40 years later.
 
People are profoundly impacted by what we see during our developmental years (5-15).
 
Mom and dad drank a lot of soda - you mirrored.
 
Your favorite meals are the ones mom made for you growing up. The same ones she learned from her mom, and her's before her.
 
Dad thought vegetables were gross so they were never around. Who didn't eat vegetables to fuel learning and childhood activities then? You.
 
The adults I work with have a fundamental lack of knowledge about portion sizes, calories and how to best fuel a day of work, learning, and activity.
 
Had their parents been proactive and took nutrition seriously by weighing portions, eating vegetables at every meal, and avoiding added sugar and fat bombs who knows how much better off you and them would be.
 
So to the worried parents who don't want to convey the wrong message about nutrition I say this: there is nothing more beneficial you could do for your kids than to teach them the fundamentals early and enforce their practice throughout childhood.
 
Can it appear obsessive? Absolutely. That's a bad word for it though. I prefer passionate.
 
If you are going to teach kids to be passionate about something why not teach passion for eating nutritiously and accurately.
 
We teach them about money and minutes from the time they can walk.
 
Macros get a passing glance for about a semester in 5th and 8th grade.
 
There's no coincidence that our 21st century concern for the fattest kids in history is a bit different than the prevailing concern for them not having enough food of the 1st through the 20th century. 
 
Kids look to their parents and emulate their actions.
 
You are their heroes.
 
Show them how to eat and teach them what the schools don't.
 
It could save their lives.
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