We are what we eat. So, we need to make sure that we eat well to be well. And kids are no different. The food habits that we encourage our children to have from their childhood are what dictate their health. The food habits that they inculcate at a young age are habits they will hold on to even after they grow up. So, it is important that we make sure that our kids are eating right inside the house and outside. But our control over our kids start to fade as they grow older and start having a social life outside the house. This is a very crucial juncture in a person’s life, both socially and personally. Peers have a huge influence on teenagers and young adults in the matter of clothes, music, movies and even food. We can’t control our children from being influenced by their peers but we can make sure that they take good decisions regardless of their peers’ bad influence. Teenagers often go out for outings and sleepovers. Hence, eating outside becomes a norm for them. So, it is important that we encourage our children to make healthy choices when they eat outside with their friends. So, here are a few ways to empower your child to overcome food peer pressure.
Good Habits Begin At Home
Good habits start from home. Studies have shown that peers and their food habits influence kids and their eating habits. But studies also show that good habits tend to follow us outside our homes. According to a study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, parents have the power to influence food habits of a child both positively as well as negatively which can influence a kid’s choice of food in any setting. So, parents have a lot of power to influence what a child eats and would prefer to eat in future. So, if parents can make use of this power positively, it can help a child to overcome bad dietary influence of his or her peers. You can talk to your child and get to know your child’s preferences. You can encourage your child to make healthier choices autonomously and encourage them to do the same when they eat outside. This will help them to have a mind of their own.
Food Portions Matter
Huge portions of foods that are served at diners would be something that a health conscious person thinks carefully about before devouring the entire portion. Oftentimes, we think that we have to finish everything that comes on a plate at a restaurant. But that is not a healthy approach to have towards food. We should eat as per our appetite and not how much has been served on our plates. But this kind of thinking takes time and maturity to come. So, it is important that parents teach their kids to be mindful of the portions that they eat.
You can teach your children to be mindful of how much they eat when they eat outside so that they can avoid overeating. Eating healthy portions of food is what should be encouraged in kids.
Ask Them To Stick To Their Guns
Kids often get bullied for being different or having different tastes. This discrimination can percolate down to food habits as well. So, it is important that people teach their kids that it alright for them to have different or healthier taste. When parents empower their kids, they feel less influenced and more confident about being themselves and eating what they like.
4. Teach Them About Options
Birthday parties, school visits and many other social events will pop up that will give your children opportunities to exercise their ability to mix up healthy food with junk food. This way the children will feel confident to take their choices independently and parents will be relieved to know that their children are making healthy choices.