10 Tips to Develop Healthy Eating Habits at a Young Age!
Published on - 22nd Sep 2016
- Eat Breakfast: Just like cars, buses and trains cannot run without fuel, our bodies need energy to work. Especially after a night’s sleep, energy levels are low. Thus, eating breakfast, even if it’s just a banana and a glass of milk, kick-starts the body and makes it easier to maintain the energy throughout the day!
- Slow it Down: Eating slowly is great for weight control at any age. In addition, it promotes better digestion, better hydration and greater satisfaction with our meals. Meanwhile, eating quickly leads to poor digestion, increased weight gain, and lower satisfaction. It’s a great way to show kids that it takes about 20 minutes for the message that they are full to get from their stomachs to their brains!
- Choose Healthier Snacks: Snacking is an effective way to fit extra nutrients into your diet and prevent overeating at mealtimes. It’s easy to reach for chips or biscuits when you feel like nibbling on something, but these snacks are low in nutrients and high in calories! Therefore, it is advised to keep your cupboards stocked with healthier snacks such as fruits, air-popped popcorns, unsalted nuts and unsweetened yoghurt.
- Drink water: Roughly 60% of the body is made of water. Drinking enough water maintains the body’s fluid balance and helps transport nutrients in the body, regulating body temperature & digesting food. It is advised to make water the drink of choice at meal times, and keep juice and sweet drinks as occasional treats!
- Grow your own: Growing vegetables and herbs at home can be a fun way to teach kids and grownups; how to grow their own food, naturally and organically can be a fun way to teach children where food comes from and to encourage them to eat a more varied diet. They’re more likely to try new veggies if they’ve helped to plant and pick them.
- Eat Together: Encouraging your child to eat regular meals with you at the table, can reduce snacking, and can also teach valuable social skills. Conversations during the meal provide opportunities for the family to bond, plan, connect, and learn from one another.
- Have fun in the kitchen: Children are more likely to become adventurous eaters if they know how to cook. Make cooking a fun task by giving them their own aprons and letting them help you in the kitchen.
- Be creative; variety is the recipe for health: All the vibrant colours in fruit and vegetables come from natural plant chemicals that have healthy effects on our bodies. Different colours have different effects, so it’s good to eat a variety of different colours each day. You need over 40 different nutrients (such as vitamins and minerals) every day for good health. Since there is no single food that contains them all, it is important to balance your daily choices.
- Listen to your Tummy: Although children are born with the ability to stop eating when they are full, it can often be hard for parents to judge whether their kids have eaten the right foods, and enough of them. Teaching children to listen to their tummies and to ask themselves question, such as “Is my tummy full?” will give them the opportunity to develop their ability to sense fullness.
- Share your food: Sharing a meal with family, friends, and colleagues is a great way to enjoy food. It is fun to see other people’s choice of food!