Teach Your Children Well

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Author: Chelsea Krost

Instilling Healthy Habits & Body Image. By Chelsea Krost. The media has a huge impact on the way we perceive beauty and our bodies today. A mother should be there to give their daughter a true sense of a healthy body image and to overcome any struggle together.

We are all exposed to advertising pushing foods that are not healthy, so parents need to start teaching their kids about healthy alternatives at home from the earliest age. With young children, the more they know about something the more powerful they feel. If you expose kids early to the idea that healthy eating and exercise will give them super human power and make them grow strong, it becomes a natural way of life for them.

Here are some tips for parents to practice and kids to learn:

  • No Excuses! Everyone's excuse seems to be “I don't cook,” or “I don't have time to cook.” But there are so many ways to eat healthy, and so many easy, healthy recipes online, time should not be an excuse.
  • Teach your kids to carry healthy snacks with them. No matter where I go, I carry nuts, carrots, rice cakes in my bag so I can stay fueled for my day.
  • Don't skip breakfast. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast end up eating fewer calories and burning more calories during the day.
  • Learn to read nutrition labels. Generally, the shorter the list of ingredients, and the fewer processed ingredients, the better. Educate yourself on what's healthy and what's not.
  • Stock Up. For college students our schedules are so crazy, it makes sense to stock up on healthy nonperishable foods we can eat while studying.
  • Get Moving. Make exercise part of your daily routine. It will give you more energy and stimulate your brain, and is a major stress reliever that will help you sleep at night. Take every opportunity to walk that you can. Leave 10 minutes early and walk to class. Use the stairs, not the elevator.
  • Keep a food diary. Take the initiative to chart what you eat for three days. Then you can see a pattern and see what you can eliminate. Use your smart phone to make a note of what you are eating and email yourself. No excuses!

Parents, particularly moms, have a huge influence over how their daughters see themselves. As a mom, remember your daughter is watching you – it's monkey see, monkey do. If a mother nitpicks her arms, thighs, stomach, or other body parts, her daughter will learn to do the same thing, and think “I have the same genetics.”

Unfortunately the media today really distorts what we think is beautiful: size 0 models with long hair and exotic features. That is not the norm. We should strive to be healthy and happy in our own skin.

So what are some ways moms and families can help their daughters cultivate a positive body image? Here are some ideas:

  • Recognize we're not all created equal! A lot of siblings don't have the same metabolism. One person in family could be struggling with their weight while the others are fine.
  • Beware of having fattening, unhealthy options in your fridge or cupboard. Don't tempt yourself or your family by keeping the foods you are trying to avoid in your home. If you come in my kitchen you will not find peanut butter, because it is hard for me to not just open the fridge and stick a spoon in it!
  • Support each other. Have a buddy whether it is a friend or family member. In fifth grade my friend and I both wanted to lose 10 pounds. We rotated bringing lunch every other day. We didn't have to worry about packing a lunch every day and it was exciting to wonder, what would Kayla bring to school? We knew it was going to be healthy, and we tried to be creative to make it fun.

Remember, a group effort will always be more successful. In my family we all struggle with our weight, and we make it a group effort to be a support for each other. You always need a cheerleader to boost you up, keep you going and reassure you when you are losing weight.

About the Author: Millennial Lifestyle Expert Chelsea Krost, 21, is a writer, producer, and TV and radio host who inspires philanthropy among her peers. Her program, The Chelsea Krost Show, is a forum for millennials to "come together, learn, and get motivated to be a success, do great things for their future, and give back to those who are less fortunate." Chelsea has appeared on Anderson, the Today Show and many other top media. Visit www.ChelseaKrost.com for more information. Contact Chelsea at ChelseaKrost@gmail.com.

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