As parents one of our major concerns is feeding our children with healthy, wholesome, nutritious foods. It's easier said than done when you have a child that screws up her face yelling "Bleah! Yuk !" in the younger years.
As they get older, the cheeky comments start rolling in "those look like Turd burgers" or "that looks like a pile of cow poop", "I am definitely not eating that !".
Hmmm.... hard earned kitchen labour gone down the drain.
As we nurture our children, we often allow food to become an indicator of how well we are doing our job.
As a result, food turns into a measure of how much our children love us and obey us, rather than a source of energy and nutrients.
Food becomes emotionally charged, and mealtimes are a source of anxiety and tension rather than opportunities to relax, interact, and enjoy one another.
What we offer children and what they eat have a great deal to do with their health and growth. But whether they actually eat what we serve depends on more than what we choose to lay before them.
Their own tastes and preferences, their moods, and - most important - what they learn from people around them in subtle and not-so-subtle ways determine what and how much they eat.
As parents, we are responsible for offering a healthful variety of foods. Our children are responsible for deciding what and how much they want to eat from what they are offered.
Balance Is Best
There is little doubt that childhood diets have an impact on the risk of disease in adulthood. Evidence points towards a protective effect from a diet rich in grains, vegetables, and fruits, and with low levels of fats, particularly saturated fat.
Serve at least one green and yellow or red vegetable, plus a starchy vegetable or whole grain, every dinner time and follow a "just-one-bite" policy.
That is, even if your child claims not to like vegetables, ask that he try at least one bite of those on the plate. Serve fruits routinely for dessert, either alone or with cheese or yogurt.
A habit of eating more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day may help reduce your child's risk of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other serious ailments later in life.
If you are aware of any health problem which may compromise your general health, it is important to seek treatment. A Health and Wellness Counselor may help you, to bring you back in balance and to good health through, detoxing, healthy eating and living, create a proper diet suited for your condition, advise natural remedies, herbs, wholefood supplements and organic cosmetics.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !