Do Kids follow Parents' Eating Habits?

Yes. Kids do follow their parents’ eating habits.  In a study involving 1306 families, when parents increased their intake of fruits and vegetables, kids followed the healthy eating habits too.

These findings were reported in the Preventive Medicine journal. This study stresses the importance of parents modeling healthy eating habits. This study also shows that when parents are informed about healthy food and nutrition, they may be able to prevent obesity in their children.

The Study:

The study involved about 1306 parents, who were enrolled in the program ‘Parents as Teachers’. This program which is available in all the states of U.S., teaches parenting skills through various activities and home visits.

  • Among 1306 parents, 605 parents were randomly enrolled in the High 5 for Kids program.
  • Parents who were enrolled High 5 for Kids received four home visits.
  • In the home visits, the parents were taught ways to encourage young children in eating fruits and vegetables by modeling healthy eating habits.
  • When the parents increased their intake of fruits and vegetables, it was found that their children also followed the same

In this study, some children who were overweight did not adapt well to the healthy eating habits of their parents. This shows that if parents model healthy eating habits when the kids are at an early age, it would be easier for the kids to imitate.

Parents can include more fruits and vegetables in their diet. This will ensure good health for the parents as well as the kids.

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