Healthy eating starts in the home and healthy eating is a conscious decision. We must remember as parents, the choices we make affect our children. The foods we choose to buy and eat are no exception.
Healthy eating is about moderation and balance.
Yes! We can indulge from time to time but if we indulge all of the time or prefer eating unhealthy foods, our bodies will one day send us an undeniable message something is not quite right. Long-term unhealthy eating compromises the function and well-being of every cell in our body but particularly impacts our immune systems which protect our bodies against sickness and disease.
Here are five issues we need to be aware of when pursuing a healthier, balanced way of eating.
(1) Are you heavily influenced by advertising when it comes to deciding what foods you buy?
Consumers are laden with choice. While choice is not a bad thing, advertising influences our purchasing decisions and even entices our children and their wants. The food companies have a vested interest in us purchasing and consuming their products. The vast majority of these companies do not care about our health and well-being.
Ideally, our bodies benefit from eating foods across all food groups:-
* Breads, cereals, rice and pasta.
* Vegetables and legumes.
* Lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs and nuts.
* Milk, yoghurt and cheese.
* Fats, oils and sweets ( sparingly)
The more natural the foods we eat, the better.
(2) Do you tend to rely on convenience foods to feed the family?
When we’re tired, pressed for time and couldn’t be bothered cooking, convenience foods tend to win out. This is fine for the odd occasion but when it becomes the norm most nights of the week, a big fluro STOP SIGN should start flashing. Eating pre-made or convenience foods long-term is doing nothing for our bodies and our health. You’d probably be shocked if you saw these foods being made, how little goodness there is within them. The only sure-fire sign to know exactly what you are eating is to do the shopping and cooking yourself. Some of you no doubt would cringe at this very thought but think about your body. Is it crying out for some nutrition and love?
(3) Do you have the attitude your body will be fine no matter what you eat?
Food is a basic necessity. We all need to eat to function properly on a day to day basis. What we eat therefore, either enhances our daily function or makes us feel less than ideal. Many of us even ignore any uncomfortable feelings or symptoms our bodies may be experiencing in the hope they’ll just disappear. Some symptoms do disappear while others don’t.
Our bodies cannot extract goodness from the foods we eat if there is little to no nutritional goodness within those foods. If we put the wrong fuel in our cars, they simply won’t go. Our bodies are not so exact in that respect, BUT they will decline over time if the majority of the food that goes into them is unhealthy. Generally, a healthier body enjoys a healthier, longer life.
How would you feel living with a body unable to do the normal day to day activities? Would you feel frustrated, disappointed, angry and even regretful? Our bodies are always communicating to us in one way or another. If we bothered to pay attention to them, there’s always something for us to learn. Respect for one, wouldn’t go astray.
(4) Do you feel you are unable to break your non-beneficial food habits?
Long term eating habits are often difficult to break. We become set in our ways and resist change. Sometimes it takes a health scare which has us sitting in a doctor’s surgery or worse, at the hospital, before we wake up and see the error of our ways. Some people sadly seek help too late when the damage has already been done.
This is why it’s so important to feed our children healthy food and get them into the habit of eating properly from a young age. It need not be difficult. Healthy eating requires us to use our common sense and good judgement when we buy food and to spend a little bit of time planning meals and preparing them. We don’t need to cook complicated, exotic, meals and in fact, simple, easy, meals can be just as tasty.
(5) What do you want?
This is a very important question with repercussions that affect not only YOU. Healthy eating is a way of life. You either embrace it or you don’t. One thing is for sure, your children will more than likely follow in your footsteps, whatever your decision. You are their guiding light, whether your decisions are beneficial for them or not.
For optimum health, we benefit from eating a variety of fresh, natural foods; doing some gentle exercise; drinking plenty of water as well as getting sufficient sleep. Finding a healthy balance is important.
Wishing you much happiness and good health,
PS Would love to hear your thoughts.