One of the newest articles on the lds.org website entitled “The Power of Early Preparation” caught my eye so I read it.  I thought it had some very good points to consider regarding raising and preparing our children for the future. 

As I considered ways to help my own family, I pondered about the effects of Family Home Evening (FHE).  For those not familiar with the LDS faith, FHE is a night set aside each week (typically Monday evening) where families get together and have a spiritual lesson, a fun game, sing songs, and my favorite as a kid….make treats!  I have fond memories of FHE while growing up and try to make it a good experience for my little family (wife, 2 year old daughter, and one on the way).

As I considered ways I could make FHE better, I decided to do some research on the effects of FHE on children.  I came across a very interesting thesis written by a BYU student entitled “The Effect of Weekly Family Home Evening Nutrition Behaviors in LDS Families”.  The research was interesting.

They took a sample group of LDS families and had them teach nutrition lessons to their children for 6 weeks and then tested their eating behaviors.  Both the parents and children increased in eating healthy.  Parents and children almost doubled their intake of healthy foods. 

I am not surprised by this study.  First, if one focuses on something, the chances are they will start implementing it.  I think that the LDS people put heavy emphasis on what not to do in the Word of Wisdom, but not so much on what to do such as eating healthy foods, exersizing, getting enough rest, etc.   

I know how hard it is to get kids to eat good food.  Especially once they’ve been introduced to sugars found in white bread, cereal, juice, etc.  I believe this research is a good start, but only the starting point.  First, I believe the parents should be setting the example themselves by exersizing, eating right, etc.  Next, they should be talking about it more than once a week.  They can teach their kids what foods are healthy and which ones aren’t while they are shopping or eating, etc.  I’ve found that it is much easier with our little daughter when she sees us “practicing what we preach” so to speak.  Finally, I do think it is important to have formal lessons on it, as this research indicates.  I haven’t really put this to the test but think it would be very beneficial.

I’d love to hear your feedback on how to teach your children how to follow the important parts of the Word of Wisdom that include eating, sleeping, and living right.  What has been your experience and what advice to you have?

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