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The Good Parenting Food Guide: Managing What Children Eat Without Making Food a Problem by Jane Ogden

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4

Why are eating habits so hard to change?

Have you ever tried to give up smoking, exercise more, drink less, stop saying peculiar little phrases that slip out without thinking, or change your hairstyle or the kinds of clothes you wear? We are creatures of habit who generally like our routines and rituals and feel safest in our comfort zones. Eating behavior is no different and most of the ways we eat and the foods we like have been learned from an early age and involve the minimal amount of thought and effort. They feel almost instinctual. And that's how habits feel – almost instinctual. So we clean our teeth every morning without planning to and because if we didn't it would feel wrong. We put our deodorant on often without even knowing we have done so and we choose our breakfast without any hesitation.
This chapter will discuss the following:
  • How do habits develop?
  • Why are habits difficult to change?
  • How do some people change their behavior?
  • How can habits be broken?
Good parenting …
Habits are formed through repetition, reinforcement, and association and can be very hard to change. Parenting is about creating good habits in our children. Parenting around food helps to create healthy eating habits that will carry on throughout our children's lives. And much of parenting is also about being a good role model, which sometimes means changing our own habits into ones which we would like our children to copy.

How Do Habits Develop?

It's Monday morning. The alarm clock ...

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