Thank you Council For Responsible Nutrition for sponsoring this post. I am proud to be one of the 170 million Americans who take dietary supplements each year!
Throughout my years as a parent and volunteer with other children, it’s been important for me to instill healthy habits in the children that I’m influencing, especially my own. I’m a strong believer in the fact that we should all do everything we can to take care of our bodies and ensure that we’re getting the vitamins and nutrients that we need. For me, that means knowing and teaching the children that I’m around the importance of nutritional supplements and how they can be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise to help our bodies perform at peak level. Now, most of you know that I haven’t always been so healthy. In fact, I’ve struggled for most of my life with finding the balance of nutritional supplements that will help me maintain my ideal weight, boost my athletic performance and feel my best. But as my own children have gotten older and I’ve spent more time with both them and their teammates, it’s become essential that I teach my kids healthy habits and that has required me getting healthy myself. I’ve learned that when it comes to nutrition, leading by example is the only way to teach.
Now, before I share more about how I teach my kids healthy habits, let’s talk a little more about my habits. I, like many U.S. adults, take dietary supplements daily. According to a survey from the Council for Responsible Nutrition, 76 percent of adults (around 73 percent of men and 79 percent of women) in the United States take dietary supplements. This can include vitamins and minerals, specialty supplements, herbs and botanicals, sports nutrition products and weight management products. Personally, I take several supplements a day including a daily multivitamin, collagen, probiotics and protein shakes. So, to say that I use supplements as part of my healthy daily life is fair. But how (and why) do I teach my kids healthy habits using supplements? I’m so glad you asked.
Lead By Example
Whether you’re a parent, a teacher, a coach or a volunteer, it’s important to remember that if you’re interacting with kids in any way, chances are there’s a kid out there who looks up to you. As an adult and a parent, it’s my job to model a healthy lifestyle that includes the use of supplements. I know from my own experience that dietary supplements play an important role in good health when used as part of a healthy lifestyle so I want my children and their friends to see me taking my vitamins every day and choosing supplements that help me feel my best. I, like 73 percent of supplement users (according to a 2017 survey from the Council for Responsible Nutrition) take a daily multivitamin so I make sure that my children see me take that vitamin every day. This reminds them to take their multivitamin and starts forming healthy habits that I hope will stick with them for life.
It’s important for me to remember that any time I make a choice to take a supplement, I’m modeling behavior that I want my children to emulate. So not only do I make smart choices when it comes to my supplements, I also make sure that if I’m going to take something, I’m setting a good example that they can see.
Truth: there are a lot of supplements out there and not all of them are things that I want myself or my children taking. All it takes to get confused is walking down the nutritional aisle at any store. That’s why I think it’s so important to be knowledgeable when it comes to supplements. A great place to start is by talking with your doctor or your child’s pediatrician about what dietary supplements are right for you. Then do your research and do it well. The Council for Responsible Nutrition has some great resources to help you here. Look at not only the type of supplements you’re choosing for yourself and your family but also what is in them.
Make sure that they are appropriate for the goals that you are hoping to see your family achieve. As your children get older (as one of mine has) sports nutrition may become more of a focus. My son needs to be using protein powders for support and recovery when he’s working out with his team for three hours a day. That makes it my job to find the best protein powder for his specific needs (remember he is a Type 1 diabetic). I regularly talk to him and his friends about protein content versus carbs versus sugar. By knowing what separates and makes the endless amount of protein powder supplements different, not only am I able to make the right choice for him but I’m able to provide helpful information to his friends as well.
While I try to model a healthy lifestyle to my kids and their friends and stay up to date on supplements, when it comes down to it, my best tip for teaching my kids healthy habits is to get involved and live a healthy lifestyle with them. This may mean coaching their teams or volunteering in their activities. It may mean taking them to the gym to workout together. It may mean simply showing them that nothing is more important than taking care of ourselves and modeling how dietary supplements play a role in maintaining overall wellness.
What I know it for sure means though is jumping in, being involved in their lives and their health, and teaching them that through diet, exercise and dietary supplements, they have all the tools they need to help make their bodies healthy, happy and strong!
To learn more about dietary supplements and how they can help create a healthy trifecta when paired with diet and exercise, be sure to visit the website for the Council for Responsible Nutrition. Then, whether you’re a parent, a teacher, a coach, a volunteer or a mentor, thinking about how you can teach the children in your life about nutrition is the best possible way!
Tell me, what dietary supplements does your family use and how do they help you live your best life?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.