Teach your kids about nour­ish­ment

Ruapehu Press - - Your Health -

Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz. Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered. help­ful to de­scribe foods as nu­tri­tious or nour­ish­ing (or not), and to base our food choices on nour­ish­ment. I’m not say­ing you have to watch ev­ery sin­gle word that comes out of your mouth, but I do want to bring aware­ness to the fact that your chil­dren will tend to model their re­la­tion­ship with food, nu­tri­tion and weight around your be­liefs and be­hav­iours.

Fo­cus on health and nour­ish­ment, not on calo­ries, fats or carbs. Talk about foods with re­gard to how they nour­ish your body rather than their ef­fects on body shape and size. For ex­am­ple, ex­plain­ing how nu­tri­tious foods such as veg­eta­bles are go­ing to help give your body the nu­tri­ents it needs for clear think­ing, clear skin and, of course, en­ergy. Or sports per­for­mance. Re­late nour­ish­ing food choices to what your chil­dren value.

Make it your mis­sion to help your chil­dren un­der­stand that food is nour­ish­ment and fuel, it is nei­ther good nor bad. Us­ing food as a re­ward or of­fer­ing it as com­fort sets up a false no­tion that it can soothe strong emo­tions, so please do your ab­so­lute best to avoid this.

Help­ing your chil­dren to un­der­stand that it’s what we do ev­ery day that im­pacts our health not what we do some­times, can also help to pre­vent a di­et­ing men­tal­ity, rigid­ity in food choices or an ‘‘all or noth­ing’’ at­ti­tude when it comes to food. Re­mind them that food is nu­tri­tious (or not) and peo­ple are healthy (or not). And the more nu­tri­tious food they choose, the health­ier they will usu­ally be.


It’s im­por­tant to re­mind chil­dren that food is nu­tri­tious (or not) and peo­ple are healthy (or not)

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