Whenever I see kids who eat everything, no excuses or complaints, I’m in awe. My kids are pretty good eaters but we definitely have had our dinner table issues.
But lately, I’ve noticed that my boys are eating a little healthier. Now, I’d like to tell you this is a direct result of some great parenting technique I’ve mastered, but really it’s just proof of something we all know but sometimes forget: the most powerful way to teach our kids is to lead by example. If we model behavior and habits that are positive, we’re much more likely to see these traits in our children. Like I said, we all know this, so why do we so often resort to every other parenting trick in the book?
Well, I got a reminder recently after deciding to go vegetarian. The decision really had little to do with my sons other than wanting to have more energy to keep up with them. But it did have one unexpected upside: my boys took note.
(Now before you wonder about whether it’s a good idea for kids to be vegetarian, let me tell you: they’re not. I don’t know about your kids, but these two have never met a chicken nugget they didn’t like!)
Although Matteo and Valentino aren’t vegetarian, they are chowing down on more fruits, vegetables and grains just because that’s what they see me eating. These days, it’s less of a challenge to get them to try new things—and possibly even like them. So I guess a healthy lifestyle has all sorts of benefits.
With this small victory under my belt, I’m inspired to show the boys other habits that’ll make them healthier and happier.
What are some of the ways you model behavior for your kids? Are you seeing the benefits?