With a dramatic increase of obese children around Australia, many parents and food authorities are coming up with ways to help kids adopt a healthy eating lifestyle.
But why is obesity such a big concern? Each to their own right? Well, not in this case. The reason being? Obesity causes a lot of physical problems; it contributes to unprecedented levels of preventable obesity-related disease such as diabetes, heart disease, and liver and kidney failure. Not only that, it is said that an unhealthy diet can cause poor mental health and lower IQ in children.
With that much at risk, food authorities are tackling the junk food industry – their marketing ploys, their ingredients, the whole lot. They are also encouraging parents to feed their children more plant foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains as well as fish and healthy oils such as extra virgin olive oil.
Teach them while they’re young! If your child eats vegetables when they are young, they will continue to enjoy them as they grow older. Expose them to all types of vegetables before they hit the age of two (when they are around two years old, they develop neophobia – fear of unknown food). But most importantly, make it fun!
Older children are harder to deal with. As they become influenced by the eating habits of others, they might adopt an unhealthy eating lifestyle. But the home is the place where they spend most of their time and the place where you can teach them the most about healthy eating. Shop and cook with your children to show them what goes into their meal. So do dinner together, with no distractions like TV, where you can spend time being a family. It is proven to not only improve their eating lifestyle but it helps them mentally as well.
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