I’m going to dedicated H in the Life Skills for Children A-Z to Healthy Food because I believe it impacts so much on a child’s life in terms of self-image, confidence, behaviour, moods, etc.
Healthy food is what gives our children (and us) energy. It’s the coal that stokes the fire.
If you constantly feed your child’s body with fatty lumps of “whatever” goes into processed stuff these days that’s devoid of vital, energy giving vitamins and minerals, your child will end up a fatty lump that’s devoid of energy. It’s not as if there aren’t mounds of research studies that demonstrate the negative effects of all the preservatives, colorants and goodness knows what else goes into what we term food these day.
I’m not on a witch-hunt against convenience foods, in fact, I think they have a valid place in society. What they should be though is occasional things and not part of the regular diet.
If you want your kid to eat healthy food, then you have to walk the talk and lead by example. Eat well yourself and you’ll be teaching them to eat well too.
Eating a balance of foods isn’t rocket science, it’s self-discipline. It’s about resisting gluttony and excepting that some foods should be regular and some occasional. The NHS in the UK bangs on often enough about The Eatwell Plate, while in the US the ADA have their Food Pyramid. So it can hardly be about lack of information on how to eat well. It boils down to self-discipline. Your self-discipline and the self-discipline and healthy life skills you teach your child.
It’s important here to note that I’m not talking about “diets”. Kids, generally speaking, don’t need to go on diets. They simply need to have the opportunity to eat and learn how to eat a balance of foods. It’s about teaching children about nutrition getting them to understand “why should I eat healthily?”.
Here are a few facts about food you’re going to want to remind yourself about and be sure to teach them:
Food Fact 1
Food is one of the basic needs of your child’s body.
Food Fact 2
A variety and balance of foods is needed to keep them healthy.
Food Fact 3
It’s you and them that is in control of what you and they eat.
Food Fact 4
If you or they eat too much and unhealthily, you and they will end up fat, unhealthy, lacking in energy and unable to keep up with the world. There’s a heck of a lot of truth in the saying “we are what we eat”.
I recommend reading the article in the healthy life skills section of CANDo Life Skills about kick-starting healthy eating. There’s hints and tips on clearing the crap from your cupboard, substituting healthy options and taking a look at refreshing your own self-discipline life skills.
Here’s food for thought. We bang on about teaching our children to eat properly or starting a new diet ourselves but maybe what we should be doing is developing our self-discipline skills and ensure our kids learn self-discipline too.
Have you had success in teaching your kids to eat more healthily? Let us know how you did it by CANDO email or leave a comment below.