As we get older, we learn more about nutrition and the benefits of eating healthy all year round. The benefits of good nutrition can be felt on the inside and the outside. We are what we eat, after all. Especially in times such as COVID-19, the benefit of consuming healthy food is tremendous. In this article, we’ll explore some healthy eating concepts and determine ways to educate our future generation about healthy eating.
The Science Behind Good Nutrition
There is a direct correlation between what we consume and our health.
Our bodies need to prevent the onset of diseases and the symptoms associated with them.
If we aren’t healthy, we could experience an imbalance of these nutrients, which can lead to negative health effects such as heart issues, diabetes and osteoporosis, as some of the more common areas we hear about. Some of these health problems may not be detected until later in adult life however, there are also psychological and behavioural problems that can be attributed to poor . Consuming a diet that is high in processed foods can alter our normal cell growth, hormonal activity and affect bodily functions
Healthy eating for kids is vital; if our children are eating a diet that is high in processed foods, then we may notice poor behaviour at home and in the classroom and psychological issues could arise.
The Benefits of Eating Healthy Food During COVID-19
Eating well is important for both short and long-term health reasons. A healthy diet promotes a healthy body and supports mental wellbeing, including sustaining good sleep patterns. Eating well can improve concentration levels, helping children in the classroom or learning from home during COIVD-19.
In the longer term, we can reap the benefits of eating healthy food later in our life. Health disease, including poor heart health is not uncommon for those who opt for a diet that’s high in sugary and processed foods.
During winter time, the usual flu season and undoubtably, during a pandemic, such as the one we are living through now, boosting our immune system with fresh fruits and vegetables can help our bodies to keep viruses away or to recover quicker if unwell. Be sure to check out our Cooking at Home Guide for some recipe ideas the whole family can , such as Fun Brekky Eggs on Toast to kick start the day in the right direction and Spinach Stuffed Shells for a scrumptious lunch.
How to Encourage Healthy Eating Every Day for Kids
Talking to children about healthy eating and the importance of nutrition isn’t an easy topic.
Realistically, children don’t view eating healthy as a way to remain healthy when they are older. Besides, what we are familiar with as adults, isn’t necessarily what children will comprehend or find interesting.
To help your child from tuning out of the conversation, there are some practical tips available, including refraining from using abstract words, like “vitamins and minerals” or “chronic disease risk”, and instead opting for meaningful words, such as “being strong” or “having energy to climb to the top of the monkey bars”, to keep them . In addition, keeping your child curious while preparing dinner can allow you to spend the time discussing how food is grown and where it can be sourced from.
Snacks are important for children and we have collated some healthy snack ideas that you can involve your children with so that they can easily reach for the healthy food alternatives.
What the Experts are Saying about Healthy Eating
You may have read our blog on how to build healthy eating habits for kids, and we refer back to the five food groups for a balanced diet:
- Wholegrain foods
- Lean meat, fish, pouptry or vegetarian alternatives
Milk, cheese yogurt or alternative products.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines state that we should consume a variety of foods from the above food groups. Saturated fat and food that is high in salt and sugar, should also be limited. How many parents have said to their children, “There is no nutritional benefit by drinking soft drinks.”?
It goes without saying that food should also be prepared and stored correctly for safe consumption. The guidelines also recommend physical activity each day and to choose nutritional foods and drinks to enjoy. Remember that children learn from parents, so teaching them about nutrition and healthy eating when they are young will stay with them for a lifetime.
In OSHC, seasonal fruits and vegetables are served each session. We recognise that nutrition is important for children and a major focus in-service is providing fresh fruits and vegetables that can be enjoyed. Eating well is important during COVID-19 and rest assured that the good habits you’re teaching your children at home is replicated in OSHC.