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Modeling Healthy Choices for Our Grandchildren

Modeling healthy choices for our grandchildren creates an opportunity for us to either reinforce our own good habits or make changes in bad habits. Today, I’m encouraging both you and me to consider the following areas in which we might make a conscious effort to model good choices for our Grands.

Food - This is an easy category to make quick changes to. What do you serve for meals and snacks when your Grands are around? Since one grandson was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, I’ve become much more aware of what I have for meals and snacks when I know the young ones will be around. Healthier food makes it easier for me to help him keep his blood sugar at optimum levels. It also has made me more aware of how poor some of my choices for food kept around the house really are. I’d never really taken note of carbs in foods before his diagnosis and some numbers shocked me. Now, I try to have better options at home and we skip the ease of pizza more frequently than we used to. In the process, I’ve found they love the way I make chicken. Cool!

Activity levels - It’s 18 below zero as I write this blog and the only activity I really want to engage in is cuddling on the couch with a soft blanket and the remote. Since that’s not an option at the moment, and not a good plan most of the time anyway, how can we work in physical activity when our Grands are with us? For outdoor activities, consider the same things we did when our own children were young. Do we still have basketball hoops or areas where they can skate? What about taking quick walks around the neighborhood to get out of the house? If it’s winter, Twister in the family room?

I recently asked my Grands what games they missed playing at our house while we've been transitioning into an apartment. Twister was their first choice. As soon as we move, out it will come and they can laugh and play to their heart’s content. What activities can you join in with your Grands so they see you making healthy movement choices?

Mental choices - Our granddaughter will be a teen this year. As I looked at her last week, I thought about the years young women spend hearing self-talk about their bodies. She’s strong and healthy with no reason to do so except for what cultural messages send her. I stopped that moment, prayed for her to have a healthy image of herself, then chatted with her about it. Do the same for your young ones. Encourage them to view themselves with healthy mental images. Negative self-talk can lead to so much pain over the course of decades. Make it a point to speak positively about mental choices with your Grands. We can plant seeds of confidence and courage that will help them overcome societal or advertising messages.

What are some areas you model healthy choices for your grandchildren? We would love to hear your input and ideas in the comments.

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