Enjoying good health now and in the future comes from good habits and food choices. Therefore, healthy eating and healthy habits instilled into children are essential. Children who are taught to eat healthy foods at an early age are more likely to choose healthy options for a lifetime.
As parents we provide role models for our children. If we want our children to develop healthy eating habits we need to start with ourselves. If both parents enjoy eating nutritious foods, the chances are that their children will copy their good food habits.
What you can do for your kids
Educating ourselves regarding good nutrition is a major part of good parenting. We can help children to have more control over their own health and to lead healthier, happier and more productive lives. They need to know about the effects that food has on their health, they need to know that they have the power to make wise choices and that they can contribute to the prevention of disease.
Creating a nutritionally balanced home is the first step to ensure the wellbeing of children. Kids will eventually see that consistent daily food choices mean healthy bodies and a happy life. As children grow up they will develop an attitude of wellbeing.
Creating a nutritionally balanced home is the first step to ensure the wellbeing of children.
Children seem to be the target group for the promotion of junk foods. Processed foods promoted to children via television advertising offer free toys or use cartoon characters to ensure kids pester their parents to buy these foods and food companies continually use these tactics to promote sales of their products.
Effects of processed food
These processed foods include salty and sugary snacks, chocolate, burgers, pizzas and carbonated drinks. Processed foods contain high levels of saturated fat, refined flour, sugar and salt which contribute to an unhealthy diet and are detrimental to a child’s health.
Processed foods and chemical additives have upset our entire chemistry, resulting in health complications, food intolerances, sensitivities and allergies, for example:
Saturated fat: obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatigue, learning disturbances
Salt: high blood pressure, water retention, kidney stones
Refined flour: immune deficiency, low energy, chronic fatigue, parasites
Artificial flavorings and colourings: allergies, skin reactions, eczema, asthma
Sugar and sweeteners: dental cavities, diabetes, hyperactivity, mood swings, tantrums, aggression
When we begin to realise the health risks associated with these processed foods and food additives we start to eliminate them and opt for more wholesome alternatives that taste delicious and do not put our health at risk.
Body and brain functions are influenced by a wide range of nutrients. For good health and optimum mind power a child needs a variety of foods. The body needs carbohydrates, protein and fat, as well as vitamins, minerals, enzymes and water. Nature has given us a wide variety of plant foods that are rich in nutritional content making unprocessed food is the key to health and longevity.
Top tips to inspire your children to become healthier
- Take kids shopping and let them select nutritious foods.
- Let your children help out in the kitchen and let them wash fruits and vegetables.
- Use simple recipes and allow them to follow instructions alongside you. Encourage children to make simple fruit and vegetable dishes (for example: raw vegetable sticks, fruit kebabs, fruit salads, healthy dips, juices, dairy-free milkshakes and desserts).
- Demonstrate the positive value of antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds and nuts and how they contribute to good health — energy boosters and mood elevators.
- Introduce new food every week; have taste-test samples.
- Discuss with them how you are going to eliminate junk foods and substitute with nutritious dishes.
- Praise your children for their contribution — children will learn to develop confidence in their abilities.
Raising healthy children does not need to be time-consuming. Daily smoothies and juices are a fantastic source of nutrients when you have little time to prepare food. Juicing at home is the key to giving the entire family a radiant and energetic life.
Furthermore, homemade food using fresh, all-natural ingredients has many other health benefits including; better digestion, better control of your emotions, improved overall appearance and enhanced memory and intelligence. Studies have shown that antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts help to neutralise free-radicals and are linked to good health and the prevention of diseases.
Good food habits for a healthy life
When we begin to feed our body with nutritious foods that our system recognises it can restore itself and function to optimum level. Choosing foods that are healthy, nourishing and made from fresh and unprocessed ingredients will ensure that the body receives the nutrients it needs to function on the physical and emotional levels. These foods are free from additives, refined sugars, flour, nitrate, hydrogenated fats and poor quality ingredients.
When we begin to realise the health risks associated with these processed foods and food additives we start to eliminate them and opt for more wholesome alternatives...
Wholesome foods can be surprisingly delicious and easy to make once you have learnt a few tips. Unhealthy foods that once tasted good no longer do so and healthy foods become more desirable.