Eat like a baby – look like a fit adult

Feeling full and enjoying your food.

Sitting down to feed an infant or a toddler can be predictable and routine. Lots of planning and preparation go into the meal. Then after all of the preparation and planning, the child controls every bite. Each bite that goes into that child’s mouth is well chewed and savored. Take notice when a baby is not hungry, they will turn away from the breast or push the bottle away. When a toddler is not hungry the food may end up on the floor, in someone’s hair, or even on someone’s face. As adults we may eat even though we are not hungry. This may have been caused by cues that are misread, like stress, emotions, loneliness, etc. Understanding these cues may be the key to controlling eating practices.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a great preventative strategy for childhood obesity titled “An Overview of the Obesity Prevention Objective and Guidance for Counseling on the Growth Grid Training Curriculum.” It is often said that children don’t come with instructions, however this is a great help. Childhood obesity is a problem that may be caused by a lack of physical activity, poor food choices and busy schedules of children and parents alike.

Childhood obesity can lead to diabetes, hypertension and several adult onset diseases. Michigan State University Extension says that prevention – which includes making lifestyle changes gradually, may prevent the occurrence of chronic adult onset disease. The USDA has a lot of information on healthy lifestyle changes for children and teens at Weight and obesity: Adolescent and Childhood Obesity. My suggestion to a healthier lifestyle is eat like a baby – don’t eat when you don’t want too, don’t eat when you are bored and chew every bite.

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