Eating Habits: What We Learn as We Live

It’s 7:00 am, and you’re late for work.  You decide to just simply skip breakfast, and have a snack later, around mid-morning.  Your kids decide they don’t want breakfast, either.

Lunchtime arrives and you’re just not that hungry.  Maybe a quick snack bar, a diet soda, and back to work.  Do you ever wonder what your kids are eating for lunch?  Have they come to the same conclusion?

Alright, time to prepare dinner, and time is short.  You have three places to be in order to get everybody to practice, pickup the cleaning, and then on home.  On the way to the cleaners you realize dinner is going to be a lite one if you fix what you have at home. Where to stop?  How about pizza and soda?  Or maybe the kids would like burgers and fries.  While you try to decide what to provide for dinner, the kids have finished practice and they’re starving.  The gym has a food dispenser for snacks and sodas, and so they load up on candy bars and coke.

It’s 6:45 pm and you’ve made the last stop on the child pickup train.  Everybody’s loaded up and ready to go home. You’ve decided to stop for pizza, already called your order in, and it’s ready when you stop by.

Have you ever stopped to ponder why you eat the way you do?  Where did those habits develop from?  Do we learn these habits as we grow up?  That’s exactly where we learn them.  Then we just improve upon them as we age.  As the demands of really hectic lives intrude upon our mealtime, we simply skip meals, compact meals, or choose the quickest alternative.

These food habits are not lost on our children either.  They take note of our food habits, just like they do our hygiene habits, our work habits, and our exercise habits.  They will generally follow right along behind us parents.  What is it we say to them, “good habits are just as easy as bad”?

What we should absorb as we travel along life’s daily path is a way to incorporate healthy habits into our lifestyle.  There is generally just as much room for healthy as there is unhealthy, it just so happens that unhealthy holds more appeal.

Unhealthy receives more advertising dollars than healthy, and is often more visible.  But that doesn’t mean it’s any easier, more convenient, or cheaper.  Habits, generally take about two weeks to make the switch from conscious action to unconscious habit.  Two weeks is not long, it’s not long at all for decisions that will affect you for the rest of your life.  It’s also not long for the potential reward that comes from setting an example your children can follow, and you can be proud for them to follow. You teach them daily about the good habits you want them to develop, and then you demonstrate a bad one in your food choices.  C’mon, mom and dad, let’s practice what we preach.

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