Children and Cooking

You only have to go as far as your local grocery store check-out line to know that Americans, especially women, are obsessed with weight. Countless magazines promise to help you lose 20 pounds in two weeks or give you the secrets as to how the latest celebrity took off their baby weight. If you are on a diet, you have to be careful that your efforts to lose weight do not turn into an unhealthy "obsession." This is particularly important when you are dieting with children in the house because children often mimic the behavior of their parents, both good and bad. Studies have shown that when a parent is obsessed with diet and weight loss, the children are also more likely to be focused on the same issues.

According to a report from the National Eating Disorders Coalition, 40% of 9-year-old girls have dieted. However, experts say that it is not a good idea to let your child mimic your "diet" unless a physician has specifically instructed them to do so. Per the Office of the Surgeon General, children should not be put on a diet unless under the supervision of a physician. Unlike adults, kids are still growing and developing. During this time, they need a variety of healthy foods to keep their bodies growing properly and diets can compromise their growth.

So how do you get around the dreaded "D" word in your house? - Simply by promoting healthy eating, exercise, and a positive body image. Here are some tips to help you accomplish that objective, which will hopefully in turn help you achieve your weight loss goals.

    * Reduce the amount of time you and your family spend in sedentary activities, such as playing video games or watching television.
    * Make exercise a part of fun family activities, not a chore.
    * Teach your children healthy eating habits. Teaching healthy eating practices early will help children approach eating with the right attitude- that food should be enjoyed and is necessary for growth, development, and for energy to keep the body running. If you are in doubt about healthy eating choices, consult your child's pediatrician or a dietitian.
    * Don't make negative comments about other people's weight in front of a child.
    * Emphasize the complex beauty and natural diversity of body shapes, types, and sizes. Parents can learn to accept, affirm, and love their own bodies. Showing appreciation for your body's strength, dependability, and health will encourage your children to do the same.

If you are dieting, rather than focus on diet and weight loss with your children, shift the focus to healthy eating and healthy habits. In the long run you will be glad you did.

Kelly J. DiLauro, CEO of Dedicated Woman, Inc., a company dedicated to the nutritonal needs of women. Products created, formulated, manufactured and tested by women for women. For more information on how Dedicated Woman can help you loose weight, gain weight, implement supplementation into your lifestyle or teach you how to love your body, visit us at