... in a balanced diet.
The key factor in health is balance.
Mothers are probably the main members of the family structure who ensure that some semblance of a balanced diet is maintained. Any effort to change overweight tendencies entails lifestyle alterations. But the often touted "well balanced diet" has to be confined within a maintainable healthy lifestyle.
Many moms arrive home from a long day or shift of work to prepare and organise family meals. Okay, the meeting went fine or the colleague dispute was settled with your tact, but somehow your child seems to be one beat up.
You know the losing battle of enticing your little one to eat those healthier foods! Eeekkk, we only have so much negotiation reserves and soon we just desire peace.
It begins in the cradle. Scientific studies show that from the earliest days of introducing solids, generally accepted from six months of age, we develop preferences in tastes.
Fortunately if we make an effort to reduce the use of refined table sugars (and processed meals) early in our child's development we can offset any tendencies for dietary habits associated to many diseases.
Sucrose is the term for table sugar while fructose is the main sugar in fruits.
Fructose is healthier and although we need all sugars for survival; the key of balance is in the limelight again. Sugar should be less concentrated by ensuring it is delivered within whole natural foods.
Accompanied by minerals and vitamins; sugar is a powerful healthy energiser!
- Introduce peanuts and raisins as a snack. Peanuts are high in magnesium (magnesium balances calcium metabolism and protects against high blood pressure and heart disease). Raisins deliver the boost of sugar and the higher protein in accompanying peanuts will stabilises sugar levels. People with sugar imbalances should and often do serve themselves regular small protein based meals. The healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (mainly omega 6) are also found in peanuts!
- Fresh fruits such as grapes can replace sweets. Pop them in the mouth and we get a dose of sweetness and liquid. As we increase fresh fruit intakes the need for sweetened cool drinks diminish; as water intakes increase with fresh fruits.
- Never dismiss old common apples, one of the highest suppliers of natural pectin. Pectin is a type of sugar and fibre that protects against high cholesterol. Pectin acts as a stabilizing agent in jams and jellies. From soft sweet red skinned apples to crunchy sour green skinned apples. Although some have various shades of colour or present freckles, each one has a unique offer to suit our tastes.
- Cinnamon can add a touch of fun, often associated with pancakes only, to impart sweet antioxidant effects. Cinnamon sticks in hot drinks! Cinnamon powder over mash potato may replace Mr salt.
- Let vegetables be bright, from sliced red, green and yellow peppers in the salad to yellow corn, green beans or yellowed sweet potato. Present foods attractively, studies indicate that the beginning of digestion and appetite require pleasant smells and displays.
- A handful of nuts a day will be brain food. They supply fats and minerals with vitamin E. All needed by neurones (brain cells composed of long chains of fats).
- Encourage participation and let quality time flow at main meal times on weekends and try to have family time during meal preparations. The pride children achieve in the tasks of cooking certainly promotes respect and appetite for meals.
By Anastacia Sampson
Diplomas in Nutrition, Nutrional Medicine, Iridology and Slimming Consultancy. Please visit me with any health related questions at the Tony Ferguson Weightloss desk at Hemingways Dischem (East London). Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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