Parents often teach their children very poor food habits. For example, during a busy morning, when everyone is running late, there is little time to think about making and eating breakfast, although it is the most important meal of the day. So parents will let the children skip breakfast and tell them to eat well at lunch when they are at school. When lunchtime arrives, the parent is still not very hungry so he or she will eat a snack bar and a diet soda and go back to work. It may be that the children have done something similar during their lunch period. When it is time to make dinner, the family is rushing around, trying to make sure that everyone gets to practice or completes some chore like picking up the dry cleaning.
On the way to an errand, the parent realizes that dinner needs to be prepared. Short on time and energy, the parent decides to stop on the way home for a pizza instead. Or perhaps the family would rather have hamburgers and fries. While deciding what to have for dinner, the children are getting very hungry. If there is a snack food dispenser nearby, they are likely to load up on soft drinks and candy. After making the final stop to pick up a child from practice or wherever, everyone is in the car and ready to get home.
The parent has decided that pizza is the right choice and has already called in an order so that it will be ready for pick up. Unfortunately, this scenario is typical of the daily food rituals experienced by many families. Most Americans spend their day rushing around with little thought to their nutritional needs. They rely on convenience foods without knowing that these short cuts to meals give exactly the wrong message about food and nutrition to their children. Everyone reads articles about good nutrition and how it impacts overall health.
Everyone has made the connection between eating appropriate foods and living longer and healthier lives. Few people actually take action on the basis of this information, however, and no one thinks about how much of every day goes by without any nutritious food being consumed at all. As children grow, parents may wonder why they seem pale and less than healthy.
Parents must recognize that children live in a stressful environment, one without exercise, and one that imposes unhealthy eating habits. It is a parental responsibility to ensure that children are taught about good morals, work ethics, and family values. It is also important to teach them the importance of taking care of their health.
They cannot have a good quality of life if they are not healthy enough to enjoy it.
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