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Dads influence kids fast foods habits according study

Posted on May 23, 2011 by Maggie LaBarbera

Do you think the kids are watching?  You better believe it.

A new study that came out in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior indicated that how fathers behave in fast food restaurants affects how their child will behave.  In other words, they are more apt to purchase similar food items or frequent the fast food restaurant based on their father's behavior.

The study parents and children ages 9-11 and 13-15 from 312 families.

Now we are not trying to pick on dads because in reality kids learn many of their likes, dislikes, beliefs and habits from their parents.  We are not surprised to hear that.  How many times do you catch yourself saying "I sound just like my mother!"  or "My parents used to say that to me when I was a child".

Parents, you have a great deal of influence on your child.  The younger they are the more you influence them.  You are actually the biggest billboard or walking advertisement that your child sees everyday.

So if you want your child to eat more fruits and vegetables, be a great role model and show them how much fun and how tasty they really are.

Be patient and positive because getting children to change behaviors or try something new (that they have already deemed as "yuck!") can take up to 15 or 20 times.  That means that we have to help them get more curious about the food and interested in it.

Here are just some of the ways you can help peak their curiosity and interest in trying a particular healthy food:

  • planting the food and seeing it grow
  • doing taste tests
  • picking the food out in the grocery stores
  • telling stories about it
  • rhyming words with the food's name
  • coloring pictures with the food on it
  • playing games where the food is shown
But the most importantly, don't nag or get mad because they will begin to associate feeling bad or negative experiences with that food item.

What are your thoughts and ideas on how parents can improve kids' nutrition habits-  please share your comments below






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