Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Coaching our children to make healthy choices

Leadership, Coaching and Development are three of my favorite subjects to talk about. Let's face it...we need coaches and mentors to grow. In fact, only 5% of the workforce can truly be successful without being coached or developed. The challenge in the workforce is that Managers are often too busy to spend time coaching their employees. Unfortunately, this statistic doesn't just apply to the workforce. It holds true at home with our children and the challenges we as parents face are very much the same as Managers in a company.

A recent survey showed that only 2% of kids regularly chose healthy food on their own. That means 98% of our children need our leadership, coaching and direction to help them make nutritious decisions.

So where do we start?

I used to spend a lot of time sneaking vegetables in food, working with food art and creating games around eating their veggies. A few months ago I transitioned away from those methods and just started having honest discussions about the benefits of eating healthy.

My oldest child is 5 and is "getting" this concept. We've taught him that fruits are a great way to start your day and that they give him the energy he needs to learn and play at school. He now knows that some foods make his heart strong and that other foods help his eye sight. And God Bless Popeye! He still helps us out with our greens to build muscle strength - something that both of my boys have a real interest in.

The rewarding thing for me is that our kids are now starting to eat these foods because they want to be healthy. My oldest asked to try asparagus at dinner this week (something that he rejected many times in the past) and then asked if he could have some fruit to snack on. ChaChing!!

Give this approach a try - especially if your kids are a little older and able to comprehend the concept. With good coaching, direction and leadership maybe we can start to move the needle and equip our children to make healthy decisions on their own.

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