One major trouble facing young people today is the problem of nutrition. Modern diets are filled with processed foods, sugar, and artificial ingredients that can lead to a variety of health problems, including diabetes, obesity, and even heart disease later in life.
But it’s not just as easy as telling children to stop eating bad food, nor is it a good thing to shame them for any bodily appearance due to eating habits. Doing so may result in mental health and body image issues that are just as bad as bad nutrition.
So what recourse do parents have? How do you instill good eating habits in children in a body-positive and healthy manner?
Simply talking about what food they can’t eat, or making negative comments about their appearance, can cause children to adopt bad food habits or develop body image issues which can stay with them well into adulthood.
Rather, have positive discussions about eating the right food, and encourage them to add nutritious fruits and vegetables rather than banning certain foods they like.
It may be tempting to reward your children with sugary sweets for good behaviour, but this will result in them associating good deeds and positive thinking with unhealthy foods. The same goes for having any food as a punishment – if you force a child to eat their veggies as punishment, they’ll develop an unhealthy view of vegetables and will never learn to eat them of their own volition.
If you want your children to eat well, then you too should pile more fruits and veggies on your platter. You have an enormous influence on your child’s behaviour, so practice what you preach!
You can reinforce your healthy eating influence by eating together with your family as often as possible, and preferably having homecooked meals.
Your child will eat many of their meals at school, especially lunch, morning and afternoon snacks. This will be even more if they’re boarding students. To ensure that they maintain healthy eating habits and get the right food, make sure that the school you choose has healthy eating options in their canteen.
At SISD, we employ the services of SWISSCANONICA, a catering services provider with a commitment to delicious, all-organic foods. Our children get nutritionally-balanced meals that comply with the biggest health and nutrition standards, and are given the option between vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Considerations can also be made for children with specific health needs, such as allergies.