It would be hard not to be confused about the simple question of what should I eat? There are so many conflicting thoughts on diets, eating styles than has ever been seen, and so much anxiety, worry and rules about foods in households. Eating should be an enjoyable experience. It should take up some time, but not take up all your time. It should be relaxed, positive and be in balance and something that all your family understands.
It is time to stand back, evaluate the nutrition science and see what is going to work for you and your family. Every family should have its own eating guidelines based on your lifestyle, circumstances and stage in life – not one size fits all. This will be your NEW eating mantra and which will take your family to optimal health – nutritionally, physically, emotionally and mentally. One of the most valuable gifts that you can give your child is their development of a healthy and normal relationship with food at a young age. This will greatly minimise any risk of developing any lifestyle related chronic condition, weight problems or eating disorders.
Create your own Family Eating Mantra
- Talk about food in a positive way – delicious, gives our bodies energy, colourful, nutritious, foods to go, grow and glow
- Remember food is just food …. It is not meant to be full of emotion
- Declare all foods is morally neutral – not good or bad
- Use non-food things to motivate or negotiate with behaviour – sticker books, books, games, time on technology, favourite activities
- Eat more real food and less processed food, shop the perimeters of the supermarket rather than the aisles. Shop at farmer’s markets where possible and talk to the growers and where real food comes from
- Encourage your child to add more nourishing foods into their day. Base their daily foods on “everyday” foods like fruits, vegetables, wholegrain foods, meat and protein group, dairy foods and healthy fats. These foods add value to their bodies and mind..
- Focus on the foods to eat, rather than what not to eat
- Eating as much variety of foods as possible. It does take up to seven times for tastebuds to like a new food.
- Focus on food giving us heath, energy, nourishment and wellness.
- Teach your child to listen to their body’s hunger and fullness cues
- Encourage an active lifestyle within your family and active play for everyone in your house
Foods should be eaten and enjoyed….. the philosophy behind Eat and Enjoy Nutrition