Habits are important in life since they determine our actions and behaviors. In this case, having healthy eating habits means that we can learn to watch what and when we eat. A well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet has various benefits for the human body both in the short and long-term perspectives. While eating healthy might seem like a relatively simple task, it is important that you to make informed decisions to achieve the best results. On the basic level, eating health involves consuming various types of foods including vitamins, protein, minerals, healthy fats and calories as well. The body requires all these nutrient groups in appropriate amounts, and this has its inherent benefits as well. One of the main methods of achieving this goal would be to embrace the proper eating habits. Here are some of the notable reasons:
Importance of healthy eating habits
Improved overall body health
The nutrients that are found in food are ideal for improving the activities of day-to-day living, and they are important in cell repair as well. For instance, Protein is a key nutrient group that is used to repair damaged tissues, and it works to improve your overall immune health levels. More so, fats and carbohydrates act as fuel for the body, while minerals and vitamins are essential for basic body activities. Vitamins A and C are powerful antioxidants that protect the cells against toxins, while Vitamin B helps the body to make proper use of energy giving foods. Other important food groups such as Calcium are ideal for healthy bones, while potassium contributes to improve nerve capabilities. Having said, failing to consume this food groups in the appropriate levels might compromise your body functions.
Aside from the quality of the foods that you embrace, you should also consider the quality when improving your eating habits. Consuming the appropriate level of calories in relation to your activity levels helps you maintain the ideal body weight. However, consuming more calories or fat than your activity levels might lead to increased weight gain. This type of fat accumulation increases the risk of developing health complications such as cardiovascular and respiratory complications, among many others. Recent studies have shown that those who eat healthy foods have improved control over their weight levels. A good recommendation would be to consume diets that are packed with vegetables and fruits.
Obesity is not the only side effect of poor eating healthy habits. In fact, consuming an excessive or perhaps insufficient amount of a particular nutrient can also exacerbate certain health complications. For example, the lack of calcium or sodium in the body can increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis, which is a health complication that affects the structure of the bones. More so, consuming too much or processes sugar can lead to diabetes, and lack of greens and fruits in the body might predispose you to develop deficiency health complications. Therefore, consuming foods from a broad spectrum of food groups goes a long way in ensuring the body has the required nutrients for mitigating the effects of health complications.
It improves your overall sense of well-being
A recent study showed that eating healthy foods not only improves your sense of well-being, but it also helps to make you happier as well. The study that involved as many as 12,000 test subjects was conducted at Warwick University, and it determined that healthy eating habits go a long way in improving an individual’s overall happiness levels. The study determined that those who consumed diet packed with fruits and leafy greens had an increased amount of dopamine in the blood. Simply put, there is a strong co-relation in between the food you consume and your sense of overall well-being as well. Eating leafy greens contains unique compounds that improve the amount of dopamine levels in the bloodstream.
Taking all things into perspective, there is no space for poor decision making when it comes to healthy eating habits. It is important that we embrace the appropriate eating habits, such as watching what we eat and this has its inherent benefits. Eating healthy requires that we make informed decisions and that we also realize the benefits of embracing such habits as well. Various studies have shown the significant benefits of eating well, and it should be part or day-to-day lifestyle.
It can be difficult to know how to make kids eat healthy food. Parents will try approaches that range from ordering to pleading, but they might wonder what will be most effective. The following is a list of various ideas on getting children to eat those basic food groups:
Eliminate the Possibility of Allergies and Intolerances
There might be a reason that a child does not want to eat a certain type of food consistently. They might be experiencing bathroom troubles or pain. Children are not very good at identifying whether a certain food is troubling their stomach. They simply will refuse many foods if they are in pain, but they will not say why.
The best thing to do in any instance is to ask the child if their tummy is hurting and if they are having problems going to the bathroom. Tell them that you want to take them to the doctor to get some allergy testing to eliminate the possibility of a food allergy.
The main offenders are lactose and gluten. Lactose has very pronounced effects on the stomach whereas gluten may or may not. There is a blood test to check for a gluten allergy such as Celiac Disease that all children should have at least once. With lactose, elimination to check for increased stomach discomfort or integration of lactase pills should help. Other allergies are usually more blatant and cause anaphylactic reactions.
Make a Food Chart
One thing that children never tire of is charts with stickers. If there is a reward at the end of the rainbow, then even better. Make your children a food groups chart where they get a sticker for each serving size of the food groups. Teach children what portions are, so if they eat a double portion, they get two stickers.
This might seem like a simplistic and time consuming approach, but most kids will love it. It is good to implement in early grade school years when they are learning about so many new concepts. Children at this age are very receptive to new ideas and like rewards based systems.
Try to make the end of the week rewards something not to do with food. And also don’t be too strict about them carb loading and other dietary concerns adults worry about. Unless the child is overweight or has health issues, then their bodies need the extra nutrients as they grow. Just make sure that you are not feeding them too much sugar and that they regularly get their blood tests for their annual examinations.
Involve Them in Decision Making
You might not like your child dictating dinner time meals. In fact, you are free as a parent to do whatever you like for these meals, provided they are healthy. But when it comes to snack times, always give children some veto power.
This means that if the child has options, give them the options and let them pick. If you are constantly telling them what to eat, they will not develop a healthy relationship with food. It might turn into a control battle where they go out of their way to eat too much or too little. So make sure children do not feel over regulated even in the home life. You will feel much better when you realize that sometimes as a parent you just have to relax a bit.
Every child likes to be creative. If you let them try different combinations, like peanut butter and apples, then they will start to appreciate the liveliness that can be the palate. Their taste buds will become more refined and yet expanded as they learn that different healthy foods can taste great together.
With the creativity, make sure the combinations are all healthy ingredients. This way they learn that eating peanut butter and celery can be just as fun as a sprinkled doughnut. And they will be so busy in the kitchen creating that they will be less likely to default to high sugar, high fat foods with little nutritional value in the future.
Teaching children to eat healthy foods will be a life long endeavor. Children are little humans too, so they will need will power at all stages in life to resist too many unhealthy snacks. Educating them through encouraging tools and fun activities about healthy food can work even better than lectures. And they will feel that eating is a fun, interactive activity with mainly good foods that fuel their active lifestyles.