With obesity on the rise amongst children, it is clear that we can do a lot more to prevent these problems.
Here are three strategies international school EtonHouse uses to encourage healthy eating.
1. Cut the sugar
Research shows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as it kickstarts the metabolism.
Switch sugar-rich foods such as biscuits and cereal to something more nutritious like oats, which can be mixed into cookie or pancake mixes and even in pies and quiches.
Replace sugary items with fruits that are high in fibre and vitamins, such as bananas. Fruits can also be blended into muffin mixes to add a healthier form of sweetness for young ones.
2. Eat more protein
Proteins are essential in helping the body’s cells work optimally and do not convert to fat when not used, unlike carbohydrates.
Switch to whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, barley and couscous. Compared to, say, white rice, these whole grain foods make up the protein portion of a meal instead of the carbohydrate one.
3. Keep it colourful
Does your little eater hate the sight of green food items? Introduce the concept of eating like a rainbow.
For example, when your child has served himself at the dinner table, point to his or her plate and say something like, “Let’s see, what colours do you have on your plate today? Now, that is three out of seven colours of a rainbow! I think you can do better than that!”
Raw vegetables can be very daunting to young ones if they are not introduced or exposed to them early. Introduce your child to a variety of dips and sauces, like carrots with hummus. These tasty and healthy options expand their taste palettes, motivate them to be more adventurous with food and get them to eat more vegetables.