What Are You Modeling?


A student in one of my online classes shared a statement that really resonated with me… “Do it for yourself, show enjoyment and be willing to share.”  The importance of being a good role model cannot be overstated. As a dietitian and professor, I am often asked about what “I make my family eat”.  Well, I don’t “make” them eat anything, all that I can do is make healthful foods available and eat that food with enjoyment. Everyone needs to make food decisions on their own, nagging only undermines my efforts. I am upfront and straightforward about the reasons why I purchase and prepare the foods that I do, as they relate to health and longevity. I also make a point to describe what I enjoy about the taste/texture/appearance, teaching my kids how to get the most from the experience. Research shows that we absorb more of the nutrients from the food we consume when we like what we are eating. When students tell me that their children won’t eat vegetables, but then I learn that they don’t eat them either, I emphasize the impact of their own behavior and suggest that they take the emphasis off pressuring the kids and channel that effort into experimenting with new recipes they might enjoy, but make enough to share, just in case. Cooking with the kids from this “experimentation” perspective, without any expectations, can open the door to new tasteful adventures. I know that for my own children, they were much more excited to taste their creations than something I “whipped up” for them.  So, remember: “Do it for yourself, show enjoyment and be willing to share.”

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  • David
    November 2, 2012


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