7 WINNING WAYS FOR A HEALTHY FAMILY

Healthy child 1

7 Ways to help you raise healthy children

1. Role models.

Parents are the best role models when it comes to healthy eating. If your children notice that you are eating chocolates and junk food all day long, chances are well that they will follow suit. The foundation of healthy eating habits starts with you as parents. The best shot you can give this plan to succeed, is when you get the whole family involved, starting at the top. Children love to spend time with their parents and naturally mimic their parents. Get your children involved, go on hikes, cook healthy fun meals together… . Get in the habit of having a nice brunch together on the weekends. You might think that there is nothing left to eat, but trust me, healthy eating is much more enjoyable and then you have fuel to get the most out of the day ahead!

2. Keep you food real and whole.

Always aim to choose foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. The best options are fresh fruit, pulses, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, seeds and poultry. These foods are high in nutrients but not as high in kilojoules as they do not have added fat and sugar. Consuming whole foods on a daily basis will help your family stay healthy and enjoy the benefits that comes with that; lean bodies, shiny hair, clear skin, strong nails and healthy teeth.

3. Include good fats and remove the bad fats.

Including essential fatty acids in your family’s diet is essential. Without these fats your endocrine system (hormonal system) can’t function properly. The hormonal system is responsible for many functions such as blood sugar regulation and a healthy metabolism. Fats also acts as a carrier for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Limit saturated fats and moderate fat intake and increase your essential fatty acids.

Essential fatty acids are found in abundance in nuts, seeds, olives, sweetcorn and avocado.

4. Rainbow meals.

The more colourful your plate (when it comes to natural foods), the most antioxidants are packed in your food. There’s lycopene in red-pigmented foods like tomatoes, lutein from gold kiwifruit, beta-carotene in carrots and anthocyanin, found in blueberries, just to name a few. These foods contain special vitamins and bioactive, which act as antioxidants and play other important roles in the body.

5. Make it fun.

Who says eating healthy need to be boring? It might need you to get a bit creative, but the sweet companies have been very creative to take sugar, colouring and preservatives to make it fun. It is actually much easier to use fresh fruit and veggies since they already look beautiful.

Food is much more than just nourishment. Food is a fundamental part of our social life and celebrations. Aim to cultivate a positive relationship with food in your kids and keep things fun. There are so many ways of being creative with food.

 Fast Fun Ideas: Cut out shapes out of an pineapple. Make curls with celery when you peel them and put them in ice water. Serve a smoothie with a strawberry halve and an umbrella. Have some fun with sushi and involve your children in the process.

6. Smart snacking.

Be sure to keep your children’s tummies full by providing healthy snacks in between meals. Smart snacks includes: Fresh fruit (smoothies are great), nuts, preservative-free dried fruit, homemade wholegrain bread and muffins, veggie sticks with hummus, rice cakes with avocado or veggie spreads and homemade oat bars.

Unhealthy snacking has been blamed for the increase in obesity.

Just as sugar can put energy levels and mood swings on a roller coaster, so can the right snacks boost energy levels and concentration at work or at school.

7. Fitness food.

We need protein to build muscle and carbohydrates to fuel our bodies. As a family we need to keep our supplies steady to keep our engines running. Animal protein, nuts, whole grains (such as oats), and even fruit, starchy vegetables and beans are winning fitness foods. There foods provide your body with the right amount of energy giving nutrients your body needs to tackle the day ahead.

Breakfast is an important meal since you need to break the overnight fast and fuel yourself for the day. A fruit smoothie and a bowl of rolled oats is probably one of the best fuel filled breakfasts around! Try to stay away from cereal and high-sugar breakfasts.

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