5 Ways to Help Kids with Food Peer Pressure

EVENT: Health Coaching Workshops for Kids in March, April and May 
WHERE: KareBoost Health (107 Cedar Grove, Suite 100, Somerset, NJ 08873)
TIME: Tuesday at 4:30pm on April 4, 2017
            As a parent, you are no doubt familiar with peer pressure, and all the stress it can bring to kids.  Peer pressure can affect many areas of life, including a child’s food preferences and choices.  This becomes even more of a reality as your children grow older and spend more time with friends and outside of the home.  Here are 5 easy ways to help your kids stay true to eating habits that work best for them.
1.      Start at Home.  While peers certainly influence kids, behaviors modeled by parents and other family members are very powerful.  Parents who model positive eating habits as well as negative eating habits greatly impact their children’s eating habits. 
2.      Teach and Empower.  Instead of just giving kids food, start getting your children actively involved in their food choices.  Involving them in food selection and preparation is empowering and will help them to make good choices outside the home.
3.      Stand Up for Your Choices.  Unfortunately, people and even family members often feel entitled to remark upon one’s eating habits, whether healthy or not.  Stand up for your own choices, and let your kids know that they do not have to justify their choices in order to make people more comfortable.  This may be especially important if your child is following a special diet, such as not eating meat or gluten.  You can gently let family know that yes, even though their meatloaf is delicious, your child is allowed to make choices about what they eat.
4.      Learning Opportunities:  School, visits at friends’ homes, and special occasions are great chances for kids to practice balanced eating.  Teach kids about their options, and encourage them to eat mostly healthy food with a “sometimes” food or treat as well.
5.      Dining Out.  Eating out at a restaurants is another great opportunity to model good choices.  You can use this learning opportunity to point out how big restaurant portions are, and take home half of your meal.  Modeling good choices and educating your kids is the best way to prepare them to make good choices when they are out with friends.
Any balanced diet has room for special meals out and social occasions with friends.  Using these as teaching opportunities will give your children the confidence they need to become healthy adults.  For healthy eating plans and additional support, consider consulting with a registered dietitian nutritionist. 
Come Check out our Health Coaching Workshop on Tuesdays, in March, April and May, 2017 at 4:30pm and 6:30!! 
Andrea Berez MS, RD, CSP
Kara Unal JD, RYT
KareBoost Health