If there is a parenting debate that rages fiercely around the clock, it is always going to be centered around the eating and dietary habits of our kids. Food is an important part of growing up from the second a child emerges into the world right up into adulthood and beyond. Like everything, there is good food – which sustains, fills us up and gives us nutrition and energy, or there is bad food, which still fills us up, but gives us little back – if anything at all. With food, and children, you really must be careful. That’s why the debate exists, everyone has an answer on what the perfect food is for kids, and this could be everything from steak to celery sticks. Unfortunately, there’s no magic meal here; there’s no food item that will solve this issue as everyone likes different types of food and different types of food obviously affect people differently. What foods should our kids be eating? The easy answer to this is simply good food.
Whatever you choose to swear by be it chia seeds or roast chicken, everyone is going to have different tastes and will be motivated by different things. There are deep and heavy biological reasons behind the decisions we make when we choose what to eat. You see, our ancestors would have to load up on fat to ensure that they survived. Fat stays in the body for a while, so it could sustain a caveman for ages. Foods that are bad for us manipulate these signals in the body and trick us into thinking that they are good – that’s why we crave them. The same doesn’t apply to foods we tend to not like – vegetables. Vegetables are amazing for us, but our ancestors couldn’t really use them that much until the agricultural revolution. We crave fatty foods because our mind thinks we’ll die without them. That’s where your brain needs to come in and take charge. It needs to say something along the lines of “Hey, Lizard Brain – we don’t need to gorge on fatty foods because we don’t need to hunt – our next meal is at the grocery store”. This is called being mindful and if you want your kids to eat well, it’s a habit and a virtue that you need to teach them. If our kids can think more about what they consume, why the consume and how they consume it – it can help defeat bad eating habits. Thinking about food is one of the best ways to consume food and curb bad eating habits that can lead to serious problems down the line
As for food? That debate will never be settled. Certain people will avoid dairy, others will avoid meat, others will only use meat in their cooking. Over at Man vs Clock they have matched some of these theories against one another to see what diet plan works best.In a way though, it doesn’t matter. Food – with regulation and thought – will always be good. As long as eating is a conservative habit and food is eaten mindfully, you can’t go wrong. If you’re really looking for a good guide as to what your kids should eat, simply stick to common sense. They need fiber, protein and carbs – so lay off the sugars and bad fats. Potatoes, veggies and white meat should make the foundation of your kids diet unless you have certain dietary requirements. We need to stay away from manufactured and sugary drinks and food, even as treats. Sugary foods are a one way track to the hospital. Fatty foods are just the same, especially when consumed in abundance. Fat is good and it can be healthy, but not when it is on the plate every single day as the main part of a meal. Keep your fats small and your fiber big, and try a lot of different veggies and seasonings to ensure that they are eaten. They are so very important.
While it matters what you feed your kids – instilling healthy and mindful eating habits is better. Every type of food needs to be consumed with discipline and moderation, and making sure your kids think about what food they need to eat will ensure that they always eat well. The debate over food will always rage on, but you truly can consume anything in moderation, just try to make sure that your children know that food needs to be a fuel and the better fuel in the body, the better the body will be and perform.