July 13, 2024

Are you setting a healthy example? Insight from Tanya Memme.

Tanya Memme, Producer/Co-Host of the Emmy nominated, A&E’s Sell This House and Sell This House Extreme, offers her advice how to manage the challenges of raising healthy children.



How do you set a healthy example for your child?

The only way to have a healthy, happy child is for YOU to set an example for them. At about 11 months or sooner, babies start to imitate everything they see! They want to taste the foods we eat, play with the clothing and jewelry we wear, go outside when we do etc. Without them knowing it, our lifestyle becomes theirs, because its all they see and know.  They only see the world through the experiences you set for them. With my daughter Ava, I take her on at least one outdoor excursion a day. We walk, hike, play at parks, she has music and jungle gym classes, soon to take swimming lessons etc. She loves being outside if even to play on the swings. She loves being active because I love to be active with her. When it comes to food, I try to make sure she gets fruits, veggies and a protein everyday at every meal. I NEVER eat fast food, so she doesn’t either. I love my steamer! Everyday I have either brown rice, quinoa, millet or beans cooking with little to no effort. I haven’t exposed her to juices and sugary foods or treats so when she is given them by other people, she tends to shy away from them. She doesn’t like sugary foods because her body craves the good stuff. We eat the same foods and we eat together when I’m not shooting. Its imperative to teach your kids what a vegetable, protein and a healthy fat is and what it does to the body. Education is the first and most important step to being healthy for Mom, Dad and the kids.
Instead of sugar snacks or juices, here are some healthy alternatives:
1) Banana Popsicles with protein. I love Isagenix protein and so does Ava! Take one scoop of Vanilla protein and a banana, add water and blend! Then pour into Popsicle molds.
2) Take any fruit blend it up with water, pour into ice trays and put the fruit ice cubes into a mesh soother. You can buy them at Babies R Us! I love doing this with watermelon!
3) Try vegetable juice, you might be surprised! Every morning on our walk to Whole Foods I get a green vegetable drink with a pineapple or apple juice base and pour it into Ava’s sippy cup! She loves it!
You can also use green juices as Popsicles.
4) Instead of water all the time I take herbal tea, strawberry, cherry etc…..and make iced tea! It tastes great, there’s no sugar in it and Ava loves it!

How do you broach “touchy” subjects of body image/weight loss with your child?

I believe that again, setting a good example for your child is key. Mom shouldn’t talk about herself being fat or thin, but rather talk about bring healthy and happy as an individual. Also don’t judge other women/men in front of your kids. Instead, point out the nice qualities in other people and have them focus on appreciating others as a person. This pulls focus away from body image and directs it to appreciating others in what ever shape or size they come. Kids, especially girls, get ENOUGH pressure to look a certain way, and I think its up to us as parents to make them feel good about themselves. Have plenty of outdoor activities to focus on and expose them to good healthy food. Focus on total health instead of just physical image! Let a doctor or healthcare practitioner mention a noticeable weight issue to your kids, it shouldn’t come from Mommy and Daddy especially if Mommy and Daddy also have a questionable weight issue. Personally, I’ve never been seen as “skinny” and in the past I won Miss World Canada and now have a wonderful career on TV! I tell teenage girls that all the time.

What have you found works best to encourage healthy eating in your child?

The absolute best way to encourage healthy eating to your child is to make the healthy food taste good! There are many recipe books or online publications that give GREAT ideas to spruce up whole foods and make them burst in flavor! Its best for you to eat the same foods and eat with your child. Again, nothing encourages healthy eating more than the example you set for them.

Do you ever feel guilty about taking time away for your own workout? How do you overcome this?

Yes, and its something all moms go through for a while. I also travel a lot, so when I’m home I spend as much time as possible with my daughter Ava, and the thought of leaving for “ME” time is sometimes heartbreaking!  Im a better mom because I’m a happy mom. Taking time to work out or do something for me is medicine for the soul and is necessary for all mom and dads.
You’ll be happier and so will your kids!

What have you found is the best way to improve self esteem in your child/young people in your life?

Kids get enough negativity outside of the house so the last thing they need is to hear it from their Mom and Dad. I often give motivational speeches to kids and teens and I tell mom and dads to support anything your child finds important to them, even if its the last thing you want to do! Accept them for who they are. I learned this from personal experience. At 11years old I told my dad I wanted to be an actress in Hollywood. As I’m sure this was the last thing he wanted to hear, he and my mom supported me 100%. They helped me set small goals and reach them to get to the big ones. I felt very confident in myself and believed I could do anything. My mom and dad taught me how to work hard, set goals, and believe in myself. They came to every dance recital, every school play and fashion show, every pageant. They encouraged me to strive for my dreams with confidence knowing that along the way they would always be there to catch me if I fell.

Tanya Memme is the Producer/Co-Host of the Emmy nominated, A&E’s Sell This House and Sell This House Extreme.  She is a new mom, pet lover, travel enthusiastic & lifestyle expert. www.TanyaMemme.com

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