How to Raise a Healthy Family

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Scott: Angela, let's start with a mother's perspective of weight management, not only for herself, but for the family, as well. And oftentimes that role falls on the mother in terms of food preparation, buying the groceries, things like that. How can you handle that and make sure that everybody eats well in the family?

Angela Bruer_Balouch: Absolutely. The mother, typically, is the one who's buying groceries, and if you don't have different types of temptations in your home, they're not temptations so they're not going to be eaten. I really feel like the mother, in particular, has to set an example. If you're buying the carrots, and the celery, and the broccoli, and the edamame, you need to be eating that and serving it. I think it's okay to give kids choices, but give them healthy choices. You are giving them a variety, to have that rainbow of foods on their plates. And not to deprive them, either, but make sure that the choices for desserts are maybe apples slices with some yogurts. 

But absolutely, if the mother is shopping, whatever you're going to be buying, you're bringing into that home. If you look at the ingredient list, and you're not okay with high fructose corn syrup and ingredients that you cannot pronounce, or if there's more than five ingredients, then it's kind of a no brainer. You just don't bring it into the home. 

Scott: Mm-hmm. A lot of times easier said than done when your kids are exposed at school to the treats that other kids bring. The birthday treats that get handed around at school. The TV commercials that bombard the kids with the cereals and pop, and things like that. How do you steer them away from things like that when they're saying, "I want that, I want that,I want that"?

Angela Bruer_Balouch: It's funny that you mention that, because at one point . . . I don't think it's fair to be radical with your children about removing all of the sweets and all of the treats. But I think we've gotten away from treats, where if they're at school, they're watching things on TV, it's an overabundance. 

Scott: Mm-hmm.

Angela Bruer_Balouch: Having those special times or those special occasions where they are allowed a certain treat. But looking at one day, I really did this on a Saturday, the kids were whining, "Mom, why can't we have cookies and donuts? And why won't you let us have pop?" I said, "Okay. You know what? We're going to go to the grocery store today, and we're going to buy all of the licorice, all of the pop, all of the popcorn and candy and cookies that you guys can possibly eat." Right? And they looked at me, and they said, "Mom, that's going to make us sick." And I said, well, it's my job as a parent, it's my job as a mother, to put nutrition into their body. That's my job. And it's not my job to deprive them, of course, of treats and sweets, but it's my job to educate them because I am setting up that foundation for their future. 

And who hasn't heard, as a young child, eat your fruits and vegetables? Right? You and I both know that now, with children, we do the same thing to our kids. And I tell them that you will understand some day when you're a parent, or an aunt, or an uncle, why your nutrition is so important."
Nutritionist Angela Bruer-Balouch discusses the tough job of feeding a family and making sure that family is healthy. She discusses what often becomes a mother's role and how she or whoever the chef and food purchaser of the family can influence other family members.

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