Appreciate Healthy Food
It is becoming a rampant habit in today’s society to waste food. This seems to be the phenomenon of our current world when there is a larger portion of our world that is at its brink of starvation. The common axiom of the ‘eye bigger than their bellies’ would best describe those who waste food at the snap of their fingers. Children these days are allowed to be picky with their food and to have perfectly edible food get thrown away in the dump.
Perhaps our modern junk food mentality can be apportioned some of the blame. We live in a throw-away-society where the media isn’t exactly a good role model either. Countless television programs show film-casts getting up and walking away from their plates of half eaten foods. The American way of living has also had a marked affect on our eating habits. Huge portions of fatty foods and less fresh vegetables have become very common in our diets. Thus should we be surprised that our children find it hard to finish their meals?
Some people would argue that the suppliers and manufacturers have a hand in the problem of society wasting food. Every thing has a ‘sell by’ and ‘use by’ date. However, sometimes there is a bit of a buffer built into the products and some of these products or foods will keep well post expiry. As a society evolving from generations before, we’ve survived quite well without a ‘use by date’.
Poor planning and a busy lifestyle will also lead to a great deal of wastage. How many of us can admit to having made an impulse to buy, then several days later having to throw it out anyway?
Back in the days when the saying ‘waste not, want not’ actually meant something, one had to plan what to buy, cook and how to creatively use up leftovers, nothing was thrown out or wasted. Food especially, was at the highest priority of not being thrown out because it was a sin to throw away food. Even more so, the hard labor that was included in getting the food on our tables and the hard work that was involved in preparing the food were all labors of love that needed to be appreciated at all cost. This is a factor that modern children do not pay much attention to, leave alone have any idea whether there is an issue to make out of. Also in real life, food is an essential fixture of culture, society and socialization and comes with a complete set of customs, history and nuances.
Healthy eating is an opportunity to expand your range of choices by trying a variety of foods especially vegetables, grains or fruits that you don’t normally eat. A healthy diet doesn’t have to mean eating foods that are bland or unappealing. Healthy eating and being physically active are keys to a healthy lifestyle. You may reduce the risk of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and certain cancers, and increase your chances of living longer.
Benefits of Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is one of the most important ways you can maintain an active lifestyle and protect yourself against health problems. Healthy eating increases energy, improves the way your body functions, strengthens your immune system and thwarts weight gain. A healthy diet helps you to:
- meet your nutritional needs. A varied, balanced diet provides the nutrients you need to avoid nutritional deficiencies. Non nutrients such as fiber are also necessary for a healthy diet.
- prevent and treat certain diseases. Healthy eating can prevent the risk of developing certain diseases such as cancer and heart diseases. It is also helpful in treating diabetes and high blood pressure. Following a special diet can reduce symptoms, and may help you better manage an illness or condition.
- enjoy life. Food is the mainstay of many social and cultural events. Not only does it provide nutrition, it helps facilitate connections between people. Cooking fresh, healthy meals can also be an enjoyable way to spend time, either on your own or with others.
- feel energetic and manage your weight. A healthy diet can help you feel better, provide you with more energy, and help you fight stress.
Basic Healthy Eating Guidlines
Don’t skip meals
Plan your daily meals and snacks. For healthy eating, if your weight is normal, enjoy three meals and two additional snacks in you’re hungry in between meal times.
Learn simple ways to prepare food
Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean complicated eating. Keep meal preparation easy, eat more raw foods such as salad and vegetable juices, and focus on the pleasure of eating healthy food rather than the calories.
Avoid eating too much sugar
If you feel tired in the afternoon, reach for fruits, veggies or a high protein snack rather than sweets, which actually rob your body of energy.
Listen to your body
Stop eating when you feel full. This will help you remain alert, relaxed and feeling your best.
Healthy Food To Stock Up On
Children, especially younger ones, will eat mostly what is available at home. That is why it is important to control the supply lines – the foods that you serve for meals and have on hand for snacks.
Be a role model. By having your children see you reaching out for uncooked foods like salads, raw vegetables and fruits.
Employ fruits and vegetables into the daily routine, aiming for the goal of 5 servings a day.
Make it easy for your child to choose healthy snacks by keeping your home stocked up only with health foods, fruits and vegetables. For snacking, always keep standby some muesli bars or unsalted sunflower seeds or even yogurt, peanut butter or wholegrain crackers and cheese.
Serve lean meats and other good sources of protein such as eggs and nuts.
Choose wholegrain breads and cereal so your child gets more fiber.
Limit fast food and other low nutrient snacks such as chips and candy. But don’t completely ban favorite snacks from your home. Instead, make them once-in-a-while foods, so your child doesn’t feel deprived.
Get children involved in the food planning. Most kids will enjoy making the decision about what to make for dinner. Talk to them about making choices and planning a balanced meal. Some children may even want to help shop for ingredients and prepare the meal. At the store, help your child look at food labels to begin understanding nutritional values.
In the kitchen, select age appropriate tasks so your child can play a part without getting injured or feeling overwhelmed. And at the end of the meal, don’t forget to praise the chef. School lunches can be another learning lesson for kids. More importantly, if you can get them thinking about what they eat for lunch, you may be able to help them make positive changes. A good place to start may be at the grocery store, where you can shop together for healthy packed food.
There’s another important reason why kids should be involved, it can help prepare them to make good decisions on their own about the foods they want to eat. That’s not to say that your child will suddenly want a salad instead of French fries, but the meal time habits you help create now can lead to a lifetime of healthier choices.
By keeping your child familiar with the process involved in preparing healthy food, it’ll make them appreciate the food more and eventually stop wasting it.