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As parents, when it comes to teaching our children healthy eating habits, it’s important to look at our own eating habits first. The old adage, “Do as I say not as I do,” doesn’t quite add up when we’re teaching our children what to eat. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition backs this up. The lead researcher, Sharon Hoerr, MSU professor of food science and human nutrition, stated that restricting certain foods from children, and then eating those same foods in front of the children, can lead to unhealthy eating habits.

“Mothers should stop forcing or restricting their kids’ eating. They’d be better off providing a healthy food environment, adopting balanced eating habits themselves, and covertly controlling their children’s diet quality by not bringing less healthy foods into the house.”

To help encourage healthy eating habits, take your children grocery shopping and ask them to help you find healthy foods. Plant a vegetable garden with them if you can. Let them help you cook healthy meals as a way to connect them to the foods they eat. Talk about what nutrients are found in the foods and how those nutrients help our body’s function well. Plant these seeds early in the hopes that they will develop strong roots as your children grow up to make choices on their own.

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Change is good. Especially when it means families across the U.S. can breathe a little easier knowing that their government has taken a huge step in the right direction. This week New Jersey Senator Frank R. Lautenberg introduced the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2010” to help protect American families from the onslaught of industrial chemicals in use today—many of which have not been tested for safety.

Says Lautenberg in press release posted on his website, “America’s system for regulating industrial chemicals is broken. Parents are afraid because hundreds of untested chemicals are found in their children’s bodies. EPA does not have the tools to act on dangerous chemicals and the chemical industry has asked for stronger laws so that their customers are assured their products are safe. My ‘Safe Chemicals Act’ will breathe new life into a long-dead statute by empowering EPA to get tough on toxic chemicals.”

Read more about Senator Lautenberg’s Safe Chemicals Act, or read the full act here.

Want to help? Visit our friends at Environmental Working Group to see how your voice can help bring about change—and join the more than 85,000 concerned individuals who have already signed the petition to support EWG Action Fund’s Kid-Safe Chemicals Campaign.

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‡These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The material on this page is for consumer informational and educational purposes only, under section 5 of DSHEA.

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