Get­ting kids to eat healthily

Kapi-Mana News - - OUT & ABOUT -

My­chil­dren are start­ing to be­come more in­ter­ested in health and nu­tri­tion. I’m not sure if this is through school or their own in­ter­est. What are some good habits we can start as a fam­ily to pro­mote a good re­la­tion­ship with food? Thanks, Lesley

That’s re­ally lovely to hear! Here are a few habits that are easy to in­cor­po­rate into ev­ery­day life.

EAT AT THE TA­BLE (WHEN­EVER POS­SI­BLE)

How many times have you heard this state­ment, it’s an old one but still in­cred­i­bly rel­e­vant today. Sit­ting down to eat, with­out dis­trac­tions such as com­put­ers, mo­bile phones or the TV, helps to cre­ate healthy eat­ing habits for chil­dren.

It also means they’re less likely to overeat, as they’re able to fo­cus on what they’re eat­ing rather than get­ting dis­tracted by the TV, or other elec­tronic de­vices. So­cially it’s a nice time to catch up and dis­cuss things that you may oth­er­wise not get a chance to.

Lastly, if we’re dis­tracted while eat­ing we can miss the signs our body gives us to in­di­cate it’s sat­is­fied and doesn’t need more food, it is very im­por­tant that chil­dren be­gin to es­tab­lish this con­nec­tion. Stud­ies have shown that we eat more when we are watch­ing TV.

DROP THE FOOD GUILT

The lan­guage you use around food is highly in­flu­en­tial. Be­come re­ally con­scious of how you phrase things – for ex­am­ple say­ing some­thing is good and some­thing is bad, is not help­ful for chil­dren and food isn’t al­ways that black and white.

In­tro­duce the con­cept of ‘‘food as a fuel’’ – and the fact that we want to sup­ply our bod­ies with the best fuel pos­si­ble. How­ever, there are times for ex­am­ple at birth­day par­ties where you eat ‘some­times’ foods.

VA­RI­ETY IS IM­POR­TANT

One of the key prin­ci­pals of any nour­ish­ing way of eat­ing is a high plant based com­po­nent – ba­si­cally, plenty of veg­eta­bles. Many of us bought into a mis­con­cep­tion that nour­ish­ing food isn’t tasty, prob­a­bly in the peak of the low fat era when ev­ery­thing was boiled or steamed.

Va­ri­ety is of­ten key as many peo­ple are sus­cep­ti­ble to what I call ‘food fa­tigue.’ If you present veg­eta­bles in the same way ev­ery­day not only are you po­ten­tially go­ing to get sick of them your fam­ily might too.

In­cor­po­rate high flavour ad­di­tions such as lemon, herbs, gar­lic, olive oil and sea­son well and try dif­fer­ent tech­niques and recipes,

Can you please rec­om­mend a so­lu­tion to re­place chew­ing

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