Children rely on their parents for not only basic needs like food and shelter, but also to learn how to behave. How many times have you said the phrase “because of my parents” as an explanation for a specific belief or a personal quirk? It’s not to say that everything, good or bad, is because of our parents. It just gives a perspective that parents are the first teachers in the lives of children. Parenthood is a role that comes with a lot of responsibility but also reaps great rewards through the gratification of guiding children to become their best selves.
Let’s look at a habit that parents may not realise has a great influence on the lives of their children: eating habits. Children pick up diet preferences through the food that parents feed them. In addition, they’re also picking up attitudes about food and eating habits. Ask yourself the following questions: Do you regularly skip breakfast? Do you tell your children that you’re on a diet all the time? Do you talk about eating “bad” food? Do you regularly drink fizzy with your meals? Do you snack all day long?
These questions sound like ones that a personal trainer would ask you, giving the impression that eating habits would only affect the health an individual person. However, the behavior of parents is actual the model for their children, and that includes eating habits and attitudes. That’s why healthy eating is important for not only the health of the parent but also the health of the children. Parents’ eating habits are the starting point for the food preferences of their children.
Making Taste, Health, and Budget-Friendly Food Choices
Let’s take a look at a common struggle in regards to making healthy choices—taste and budget. When at the supermarket, you’re most likely teaching your children that buying groceries means also being conscious about is the price. So you go to a shelf and see two brands of the same food item. Which one do you choose? You probably point out the prices between each brand and select the product that will help you stick to your food budget.
Sticking to a budget is an important value; however, the less expensive one may not be the healthiest option. Think about this other scenario: you need to stock up on after school snacks for your children, and you notice that the grocery store has cookies selling at a low price. Your kids like cookies because they taste good, and you’re saving money—the best of both worlds, right? Not so fast. Both of these scenarios illustrate a common barrier to healthy eating—taste and price.
Sometimes, healthy eating is framed in a way in which taste, health, and budget are in constant conflict. Fresh vegetables and fruits are always great healthy food choices, but let’s face it: for many households striving to make the food last until the next necessary grocery run, shelf-ready foods are often viewed as the better option to meet this need.
Stick to Healthy Eating Habits Even With Shelf-Ready Food
When it comes to healthy eating, shelf-ready food isn’t the enemy. Packaged food is necessary to transport food throughout the world. Modern technology is helping to make commonly prepackaged goods a little bit more healthy by taking out harmful additives and replacing them with natural ingredients. Taking the time to learn about Hampton Creek and its lineup shows that health doesn’t have to be at odds with budget and price.
Hampton Creek is probably most known for its eggless mayonnaise Just Mayo. While traditional mayonnaise is made from egg yolk, Just Mayo’s creaminess comes from a yellow pea protein. Minimizing the foods with unnatural additives or genetically modified ingredients versions are small choices that add up to a healthier and more sustainable eating habit.
Parents know that experience comes with perspective. Make sure that you’re passing down the perspective that you want your children to build upon.
In other words, your eating habits are a launch pad for your children. When they face a similar situation in regards to eating choices, your children will first reference your example. A change in your grocery store routine—being aware of ingredients in shelf-ready foods and choosing foods that have fewer additives or genetically modified ingredients—is one small change that will be the building block of healthy habits for years to come.