Early Years & Eating Habits - “Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food”
Did you know the most common depression suffered by people around world is Obesity?? It is the most dreaded disorder in developing countries that is caused by improper eating habits and unhealthy lifestyle
Humans undergo rapid developmental changes during their first years of life. They progress from suck-swallow mechanism in liquid states to chew -swallow in complex textures. Studies have revealed that exposure to fruits and vegetables in infant and toddlerhood have been associated with acceptance of food at later ages. Poor diet leads a crash in our internal energy pyramid and results in various chronic disorders like heart disease, blood pressure and so on.
A famous quote by Hippocrates which tells the importance of food “Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food”
Sharing my cents of ideas on importance of eating habits and related engaging tasks :
Practice what you preach "Seeing is believing" - for kids, the best role model is you and they can easily develop patterns or habits from us . Cultivate the habit of eating clean that will inculcate in kids too.
Replace unhealthy food in your refrigerator with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Lessons about healthy food will "stick" more when you eat healthy too.
Play and learn : During play time or play group, use posters or real vegetables to identify the edible parts and educate them on the nutritional value. Engage them in small cookery classes too where they can make their own soups and label them creatively.
Weekend markets : Take them once in a week to a local market where they can get a feel of what is grown in their own soil and also gives them how is food is sold in places other than super markets.
For toddlers, you can get a full bag of assorted vegetables and allow them to segregate by colors (make sure to remove vegetables that has choking hazards)
For little grown-ups, Give them time tuned task like peel the carrots, squeeze the lemon by which they learn to importance of time management and also the "art of helping"
Adopt any one of these or all of these which suits your kid. Teaching kids to eat wisely and moderately is an investment in the future and it is the sole responsibility of parents, teachers and caregivers.
You are what you eat!!
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