Jun 14, 2009

Parents Eating Habits Have Little Impact on Children

A recent study has (thankfully for me!) shown that there is a weak correlation between parents and their children's eating habits.


  • Children whose parents ate a healthier diet were three times more likely to have a healthy diet compared to the kids whose parents did not have a healthy diet by a factor of 10% - the other 90% is attributed to other factors
  • However, peer influence and television viewing may be more powerful influences on what children eat
  • The study also pointed out that most parents don't eat a healthy diet and another study found that most middle aged adults do not eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
What to do:
  • As a parent, we need to either remain committed to a healthy lifestyle or else commit to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Involve children in cooking and choosing fruit and vegetables. I bring my twins with me to the store and ask them to pick out something new to try each time we are there together.
  • Limit TV or other media wherever possible that advertises to children. We fast forward through all commercials.
  • Talk to your children about why eating healthy is important so that they can over time have the knowledge to make their own decisions and combat peer pressure.
My comments:

Getting my children to eat a healthy diet has been an ongoing struggle. My daughter eats only bland food and my son only likes spicy food. My son is easier to deal with because we can just add hot sauce to just about anything and he'll eat it. My daughter is a lot harder to deal with.

I was a very picky eater as a child (and honestly as an adult as well), so I'm happy to know that only 10% of my child's eating habits will come from me.

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