Diet Dilemma: Being a good role model at the dinner table

By Lily Whorl



Be a good role model.

My dad’s adventurous palette definitely helped me eat out of my comfort zone.  Growing up watching him eat everything and anything from brussel sprouts to SPAM, I always wanted to have what he was having, even if I didn’t like it. 

On the other hand, my younger sister was like my mom. A bit more of a picky eater. Even though my sister’s not unhealthy, even now she sometimes turns down vegetables simply because she grew up not liking them. 

As a parent, you’re always under a microscope. Your kids are watching. Chana Stiefel, from Parents Magazine says “Your child learns by imitating you.” Have you thought about how your eating habits influence your kids’ eating habits?

I know sometimes you want to chow down on a bowl of cereal just because you’re in a rush. And everyone has cravings at times. But remember that kids today have many more food options than you did. They’re going to be making a lot more choices about what to eat. What they eat at home will have a special appeal to them. It will smell, look and taste familiar. Putting a balanced diet in front of them on a regular basis will increase the likelihood that those foods will end up in their diet when they are away from home. 

Unlock Food, a website created by the Dietitians of Canada, states that “By creating a positive eating environment and being a good role model, you can help your children develop healthy eating habits that can make a lasting impact on their health.”

I know that living in a household where the rule was “you have to at least try it once, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it” helped me give a variety of healthy foods a fighting chance. Now I eat better I think than most of my friends. Thanks Dad!

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