The habits you teach your kids will inform the patterns they develop as they grow into adulthood. Though they are little individuals who will develop their own likes and dislikes around food, you still have the ability to influence the relationship they have with it. Help them develop good habits from a young age, and you’ll set them up for a healthier life.
- Know Your Cookware (Not Everything Conventional Is Safe)
With so many cookware options available, from Teflon to stainless steel and cast iron, it can be hard to know what’s actually good for your family. To make life simple, it’s a good idea to opt for the best ceramic cookware as this is the safest variety of non-stick cookware. Cheaper non-stick cookware can leech harmful substances into your food. Cast iron and stainless steel are also safe options, but you’ll need to learn how to cook with them. Ceramic cookware offers the best of both worlds – safe, nontoxic, but also easy to cook with, thanks to its non-stick properties.
- Cook Food From Scratch Using Fresh Ingredients
While words like “instant” and “lite” might indicate convenience or a veneer of healthiness, these products have undergone additional processing, making them more refined and less recognizable as nutritious foods.
Cook your sauces using fresh ingredients, and prepare staples like rice, pasta, and meat using ingredients that are minimally processed. This means you can still enjoy favorite foods, like pasta, without any negative health effects.
- Eat Together At The Table
Family meals shared at the dinner table with conversation have a profound impact on the wellbeing of children. There’s a degree of accountability when you sit down at the table – you are answerable for the day you’ve had. There is also a sense of connection as the family comes together from their separate journeys to share a meal and engage with one another.
Shared work should also go into the preparation of the meal. Someone must set the table, prepare the meal, and clean up afterward. When shared among the family members, these tasks help to strengthen your bond and your appreciation for the food you’re about to share.
- Eat Mindfully
Mindful eating is an age-old practice that involves eating with no distractions. In today’s modern society, eating on the go or in front of the TV has become common practice, but it is far more beneficial to avoid such habits and to savor your food instead. This gives the brain a chance to register that you are eating, improving how satisfied you feel once you have finished, which in turn helps to curb overeating. Teaching this habit to your children will encourage them to develop a healthy relationship with food.
- Enjoy A Walk After Big Meals
A stroll after a meal can aid digestion, but it is important to make it a leisurely one. If your muscles work too hard, blood will divert away from your stomach (where it is needed for digestion).
A good walk can improve your mood, fending off the drowsiness that can come after a heavy meal. For children who struggle to stop eating when they should be full, a walk can help the body recognize that it has received food. Stepping away from the table provides time for that message to reach the brain and curb the desire to keep eating.
Developing a good relationship with food is necessary for anyone who wants to live a healthy life. This means meeting your body’s needs with nutrition and taking great pleasure in enjoying fresh, nutrient-filled foods.