Clean Eating with Kids: A Challenge Worth Face it?
As parents, we want our children to develop and grow healthy. Of course, one of the many aspects of living a more wholesome lifestyle is eating habits and how we approach food in different scenarios.
Developing a healthy relationship with food is not simple. Most adults suffer from this, and children are no exception to it. And yet, we must educate ourselves and our children to avoid developing obsessions and anxiety over food.
So, is clean eating with kids worth it?
How should we approach it?
What are the best recommendations?
At Spimbey, we do the research for you to bring some answers. Let us dive right into it.
The importance of naming things.
The first thing we always want to address is the importance of how we name things and the example we set for our children. Unfortunately, terms like “Clean eating” or “junk food” what they do is that they add a negative or positive connotation to food that is not natural to it.
It is obvious that certain foods contain more nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and other important components for human health, and yet that does not mean that some foods are good and others are bad.
So, how should we approach the subject of eating more real food instead of processed foods that tend to be full of other ingredients? Should we just avoid them for good? How can we teach our children about food options?
Some experts in the nutrition field, who also deal with kids on a daily basis, recommend exposing our children to all types of food without prioritizing one over the other.
For example, it is very common to hear things like “eat your vegetables, or there is no dessert.”; but vegetables rarely taste good, and dessert is always delicious, so this type of conduct model teaches our children is that some food is a reward and others a punishment. Finally, this enlarges the problem of seeing food as good or bad, as if we were talking about morals in humans.
Experts dieticians like Abby Sharp recommend setting all the foods on the table and letting our children choose what they consume first or last, the only rule is that most eat from every type of food on the table. Sounds crazy, right? Letting our children decide their fate, but this is actually a genius, kid-friendly approach to developing more healthy relationships with foods in our kids.
Another approach we can take is changing our vocabulary and the way we refer to certain foods when our children are around. For example, instead of saying things like “healthy recipes”, or “a healthier version”, we can say things like “nutrient-dense food”. Even though the terms are similar, the message delivery is not, and that is where we can set the difference.
Clean eating will always be something about perception.
Some of us, more experienced parents will remember growing up during the 80´ and hearing things like if you want to eat clean, you should avoid ALL fats, all of them altogether.
Years and thousands of scientific research later, we now know that fat is an essential component of human health as liposoluble vitamins exist, which means they need fat to be absorbed. More than that, healthy fats seem to play an important role in heart function and health.
So, fats are not bad, which would be the next nutritional boogyman? Carbs? Processed foods? Sugar? All of them? As you can see, what clean eating is will always be subjective and sometimes even a fashion.
The best approach you can take to feed your children with more rich-dense foods is through knowledge. Educating yourself will allow you to make more informed decisions about your children’s food options.
Spimbey’s recommendations for a more wholesome lifestyle.
At Spimbey, we encourage family-friendly dynamics that allow every member to enjoy and experience life in a more wholesome way. Here are some recommendations to follow.
- Daily exercise or play time: aim for at least 30min a day. If it can be out in the open, the better.
- Eat at least one serving of fruit and vegetable a day.
- Always have your children fully hydrated.
- Eat from all food groups.
- Protein and iron-rich foods daily.
- Avoid labels and tags on food or drinks.
To finally answer the question of clean eating with kids, is it worth taking the challenge of clean eating with kids? The answer is yes, but take the necessary precautions to prevent sending the wrong message to our children.
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