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Mom´s Best Legacy

Por Carola Sixto, Editor, HolaDoctor -
Mom´s Best Legacy

There’s no need to ask a mother what she’d be capable of doing to make her children happy. Staying up late studying with them, waking up during the night because her child is scared or sick, or spending the last cent of her salary in that pair of shoes or that new dress her son or daughter has been dreaming of for a long time.

Your Greatest Legacy
Despite all the love, some important questions often arise. Many mothers ask themselves things like, “How do I explain my child that eating too much sweet is not healthy?”
Strangely, the answer to this question is not how to tell the child about the harm caused by excessive sweets. The best way to teach a child the importance of healthy eating is through example. If a child sees his/her mother eating vegetables, it’s more likely he/she will eat them as well. If, instead, mom and dad have a regular meal and give the child a “healthy” plate, he/she will ask, “if they can, why can’t I?”

The same happens when you want to teach a child the benefits of playing sports. If the parents are inactive people, the child will surely think, “if mom and dad don’t do sports and they’re ok, I don’t need sports either!”

Far from being a parent’s whim, transmitting healthy habits to children is essential to prevent chronic conditions, like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. In other words, transmitting healthy eating and physical activity habits is teaching children how to take care of themselves. And ultimately, that’s one of the challenges of being a mother: teaching children to choose between what’s good for them and what’s not.

Where Do I Start? • First, create in your family the habit of sitting together at the table, without TV. Lunch or dinner are great opportunities to reunite and share the experiences of the day.
• Progressively, begin to eliminate fats and carbohydrates. This doesn’t mean you can’t have snacks or crackers at home, but the least unhealthy options available, the more healthy choices your children will eat!
• You don’t need to give them a speech about the changes you’ll introduce. Better yet, do it naturally. If you usually made pizza, look for a healthier recipe. For example, instead of adding cheese and pepperoni, make a vegetarian pizza.
• To help them start eating fruits and vegetables, try making more than one option at a time. There is scientific evidence that if a child can choose from several vegetables, it’s more likely he/she will eat them than if there’s only one choice. This doesn’t mean you need to cook two meals each day, but letting them have two side dish options instead of one.
• More information.
• Instead of creamy desserts or pastries, make fruit salads, skewers with fruit chunks, or diet-gelatin dessert. Prepare a  tropical salad.• Leave soft drinks for the weekend or special events and get your children used to having water instead.
• During family times, replace driving out for walking or biking together. Instead of going to the mall, go to a park!  Your children will thank you.

Surely, there’s only one mother, but luckily, there are many ways of showing your children how much you care about them.  


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