5 Good Eating Habits to Teach Your Kids

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Update Date 26/05/2020 . 4 mins read
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Filipinos love to eat. In a survey conducted online, it was found that food remains one of the key ingredients to Filipino happiness.

Indeed, food is integral to Filipino culture. From feasts at fiestas to celebratory family dinners, eating fills Filipinos not only with food but also with happiness.  

The one thing that trumps food in importance for Filipinos would be family. The Filipino is a filial being. In the same online survey, a family was found to be the primary source of happiness for most Filipinos. 

5 Good Eating Habits

Eating healthy is an essential part of leading a healthy life. In line with this, good eating habits should be instilled as early as childhood.

The Philippine government encourages parents and families to come together and teach their children important lessons and values with programs such as “Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga Day,” and National Family Week.

Since good habits in eating should be one of the values that parents endeavor to impress upon their kids, here are 5 good eating habits:

Eat breakfast

Eating breakfast provides multiple benefits. The body expends a lot of energy to repair and maintain itself at night. Breaking your fast allows it to replenish itself with nutrients, to be at peak performance. A proper meal will enable the body to keep going throughout the day. Eating breakfast has also shown to contribute to the loss and maintenance of weight. 

When eating breakfast, it is advisable to have at least two food groups. Possible options are whole grains, lean protein, dairy, fruits or vegetables. Having a healthy start is a good set-up for having a healthy day ahead.

Drink water

One of the 5 good eating habits to teach your kids is to drink water. It is important to hydrate. The human body mostly consists of water and every system in your body requires constant water to properly function. Men are recommended to take 13 8-ounce cups of water a day, while women should take 9 8-ounce cups. While this is the recommended amount, the actual intake required may be more depending on the type of lifestyle you lead. Athletes or more active people may require more than the recommended amount. Pregnant women also need more water. It is one of the 5 good eating habits to teach your kids because hydrating is necessary for a healthy lifestyle. 

It is important to constantly check for dehydration. Thirst may sometimes be misunderstood as hunger. 

A steady intake of water during meals may also stop the unnecessary eating of calories. 

Know what you are eating

One of the 5 good eating habits to teach your children is to know what is on your plate. Only eating food with ingredients you can identify, is a good way to monitor what you eat. It can also help cut off undesirable food choices like processed food, sugars, or food loaded with too much fat. When eating, choose meals that useless ingredients. Fewer ingredients mean fewer calories and easier monitoring of what goes into the tummy. 

It is advisable to choose foods that are high in nutrients. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and healthy fats are great options to put on your plate. These options are all rich in nutrients the body needs to function.

Portioning your food is as important as choosing the food you put on your plate. Eating too much, even if the food is all healthy choices, would not be good for the body. Protein and fat choices, for example, are high in calories. Eating in excess contributes to an unhealthy gain in weight.

Be selective when eating out at restaurants

Food served at restaurants are usually high in fat and loaded with salt. In addition, food served outside might come in larger portions than what your body needs. One can easily be tempted to gorge on these salty, fat-loaded dishes and eat more than what they need. 

While it is not realistic to completely stop eating outside, adjustments can be made. For parents, one of the 5 good eating habits they can teach their kids is to ask for their food to be served to-go. This can help to portion out the food more properly. You can divide the restaurant’s large serving to accommodate dietary needs for the day.

Also, inquire about how the food is prepared and what certain ingredients are used for the meals. Pick dishes that are baked, broiled, roasted, seared, poached, or steamed. Dressings and sauces should also be set aside and put in a separate container because these can help pack on the calories.

Instead of fries or onion rings, pick fruits or vegetables as sides to go with your meal. Not only are they healthier options with better nutrients, but they also contain fewer calories. 

Mindful eating

Mindfulness is a meditative practice that simply means to focus on the present or what is happening right now. Mindful eating is the practice of being more in tune with what you are eating. It can take up to 20 minutes for the brain to signal to the rest of your body that it is full and satiated. Slowing down will help your body and brain keep up, and be more in tune with the state of fullness. Take the time to slowly chew and savor your food.

This may also be thought of as keeping time. Try to eat the portion of food over at least half an hour. This can help monitor how full you really feel.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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