Getting kids to eat healthily
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