In part 1 and 2 of ‘How to get your kids to eat their greens’ I touched on
1. The importance of keeping little ones amused at the table, getting their taste buds used to vegetables from an early age.
2. The importance of learning about nutrition ourselves, so we as parents can gently educate our kids to eat healthy food. How food is used in the body and what our immune system actually is!
3. Easy ways to get loads of veges in with minimal fuss
See ‘Getting Little Ones to Eat their Greens’ part 1 & 2 for more info
GETTING LITTLE ONES TO EAT THEIR GREENS – PART 3
Today I’m going to be talking about the bigger picture of health and how it all starts with us as parents. How to get educated around Nutrition, and lastly how to teach our children to cook for themselves, providing them with the knowledge and know how that will follow through generations to keep our grandchildren and their children healthy and happy.
The more you know about good food the better that good food will taste. Increasing your nutritional knowledge will make health foods more appealing, not only due to taste but also their nutritional content. Knowing what you’re eating and what it’s doing is extremely empowering and it’s the same for kids. If we can impart our (correct) knowledge then we can instil in them the knowledge of longevity and a disease free life. Surely that is what we all want for our children? Think of food as medicine (in fact it’s far better than medicine) the best preventative pill you’ll ever take!
We as parents have the window of opportunity to instil life long eating patterns, the foods you serve and the habits you promote become your Childs nutritional norms. Helping your children to crave foods that are healthy for them.
Remember the food your children eat in their first 10 years of life determine their genetic expression…. this decides whether undesirable genes for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity are turned on or not. Food determines this. What we eat affects our hormones, which in turn affects our Genes.
Again, Childhood diets are the number one cause for adult diseases! But we as parents have the power to ensure this is not our children’s destiny, we have the choice to determine our children’s health.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Since we teach mostly by example we have to evaluate and change our own eating habits before we can shape our children’s. Getting the right food in the house is number 1….
1. Get rid of the packets (packets don’t grow on trees!) and processed junk. Chuck it out and replace it with real food that is grown in nature and minimally processed. Clear out the cupboards so there is not temptation to eat foods that don’t serve your health.
2. Eat lots and lots of vegetables and fruit (low glycemic load carbohydrates). These should make up the majority of our diet, vegetables especially. We need to eat plenty of these.
3. Eat moderate amounts of protein i.e. meat/fish/tofu/tempeh and complex carbohydrates potatoes, grains etc (no bigger than palm of your hand at each serving)
4. Eat moderate amounts of good fat i.e. avocados, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil and its products, nut oils, flaxseed oils these are all great food sources of fat that are essential to our diet and provide omega 3 and 6.
5. Avoid processed food!!
6. Eat 90% good food 10% bad (birthday parties etc). If we go 100% good it’s not sustainable and we’ll set ourselves up for failure, there has to be some give and take in today’s society. Try to keep home food good and the food you can’t control at other people’s homes can make up the 10%.
7. Drink lots of water (30mins either side of meals)
HOW TO EDUCATE YOURSELF IN NUTRITION
– Here at the Nourish Blog and Facebook page!
– Food Matters website and all the films they have to view on http://www.fmtv.com The food Matters Film and Hungry for change are two films that are a great place to start, especially to get your partners on board!!!
– Dr Sears http://www.askdrsears.com
– Dr Joel Fuhrman http://www.drfuhrman.com
– Katy at http://www.wellnessmama.com
– There are soooooooooo many more but there is a start!!
– If you are interested in studying nutrition I thoroughly recommend The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, it is life changing and the most informative, comprehensive nutrition and lifestyle education I could have ever hoped for. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to make a career out of nutrition. http://www.integrativenutrition.com/aff/iin-video?affid=0015000000rwi1zaaa&rectype=affiliate If this sounds like you let me know and I can tell you more about it x
KIDS IN THE KITCHEN
Allowing kids to participate in cooking is so essential in getting them to eat healthy food. It is hard to do this when you are a busy Mum or Dad who just wants to get dinner out and get everyone feed with minimal time and mess! Unfortunately they’re never going to learn like that.
We need to welcome our children into the kitchen, allow them to make their own food (with guidance), gently passing on our knowledge around nutrition and cooking skills so they can adopt this as their own.
For example I have always been open to the kids joining me in the kitchen (my mum was the same)…..a lot messier this way but it is now starting to pay off tenfold. The two oldest boys can competently make the family salad for dinner, they can bake on their own and produce beautiful meals!
My oldest Jesse is a bit of a star in the kitchen…..his latest dish is sautéed tomatoes and mushrooms in coconut oil and garlic….he does it all himself without any help from me and it tastes amazing! I love it when he gets his cook on!!! He wouldn’t have a bar of mushrooms before he started doing this….now will happily guzzle back 4 in one sitting.
We have to let go and let them get in there and feel what it’s like to cook, with successes and failures. Each one is an equally good lesson in life, we learn from every experience.
If our children have the knowledge around food, how to grow it, prepare it, soak it, ferment it, blend it and cook it…..then they have that for life, to teach their partners, to nurture their children, to pass this on from generation to generation. You can be the start of that!
TRYING NEW FOODS
Eating Green food is essential to every human. There are so many different dietary theories out there and rightly so as we are all different and a diet that works well for one person may not work well for another. However the thing all these diets have in common is that they all agree that green leafy vegetables are essential to optimal health. Now I totally appreciate how hard it can be to get your kids into to this stuff. But it’s just like anything that we have to teach them in life…..like learning to sleep, learning to share and learning to read. It all takes time and is essential for them to function in life. Eating green vegetables is no exception!!!!
Recently we have added capsicum and mushrooms to our family meals. My husband Scotty is scarred for life from childhood memories of mushrooms cooked within an inch of their lives into a black slop and likewise from similar experiences I cannot stand the smell of cooked capsicum to this day! But after learning about the medicinal benefits of mushrooms and why we should have them in our diet daily we decided to give them a try again….likewise with capsicum you can’t go past their antioxidant properties, making them wise choice to include in our diets when in season. So be both reluctantly agreed to give these two veges a try.
To our amazement the kids LOVED them……especially Riley our middle boy, who now eats capsicums like apples and is always stealing mushrooms out of the fridge….we never would have known that if we hadn’t tried these foods. So this is my new mantra….try a new food every week…..not only will the nutritional benefits be profound, but you may find that your children LOVE something you never expected they would!
Let me know how you get on