Simple steps for Nourishing families to thrive :
It is proven that early food experiences have a significant impact on children’s eating patterns and eating habits as these are learnt from the home so it’s vital that adults demonstrate a healthy relationship to food in order to support children’s development and promote an environment that shows good habits around food.
Research tells us the importance of good protein and fat sources and good food sources on both children brain and gut development which is now being well documented and evidenced to show its impact on brain development. We now know that the brain continues to grow until later into adulthood 25 to be precise! We didn’t know this 5 years ago.
Taking Meals Together and being their role models for good food shows them how important it is to try new food and a varied and colourful diet.
Show them its’ good to try out different food – make a point of doing this even if it takes you out of your comfort zone.
Offer nutritious healthy food which is carefully balanced. Seek guidance on this if you feel stuck and become better informed of what to offer childrens’ during their key developments stages.
Book for my Reconnect with food course running until the Spring. or get in touch for details . I’d love to hear from you.
Offer food from all the 5 food groups to help children become more familiar with these.
Naming them as they are served will help increase there awareness and promote more acceptance at meal times of their importance.
Make 3 meals a day the norm at the dining table in your home- 3 meals a day is really important for self image and self esteem particularly in teenage daughters and sons.
Show children it’s good to eat at a dining table to promote positive family time. Ask them questions about their day to support wellbeing goals and social skills for their future development.
Introducing seasonal food shows them what food is available and when it is available and how good it tastes when it is actually in season. Try not to buy into eating all vegetables and fruits when they are not available or in season.
Give them the right amount of protein and fat each day is vital to brain function and development.
Try new recipes or include food your children and partners enjoy. Get inspiration by booking a consultation and get some of my must have recipes that have been tried and tested as wins for my children.
Seek your children’s views on what they like or might like added to the weekly menu or side dishes.
Consider giving them healthy choice suggestions to choose from to make it easier or reach a consensus.
Promote the importance of hydration – instil the need to have regular drinks throughout the day particularly for young children and their bodies use more water because they are more active and on the go- this is the same for children who take part in sport.
Being mindful of each person’s food preferences and then including these; will help them see something on the plate for everyone that they all enjoy. I always say ‘there’s something on the plate for each of you as I try to balance the meal showing them to show regard for each others needs! – Try not to force them to eat everything… simply serve them less of what they don’t like and more of their preferred food..
Give your children a little of your time everyday and something that’s fun! try not to reward them with food as your default – We have been playing banana grams and boggle which is a game young and older children can play with each other and takes 2-5 mins. This creates a nice moment which can be helpful to bonding time using simple universal games.
Limit bad carbs and talk about why you do this – the usual offenders are packet snacks, fried food, added sugar, tea or coffee, squashes, shop bought biscuits and cakes, popular chocolates are also laden with bad ingredients – get into the habit of always checking labels – its not just hidden sugar and bad fat in there.
Get everyone involved in a regular exercise. Simple things like going to the park or having a regular sport will help them feel happier healthier and fitter.
Create routines that work for all of you and review these so they feel part of the outcome. This will create consistency and boundaries which children all need no matter what age they are
Don’t forget to praise them regularly for trying out any or all of the above. . A habit is formed by doing it more than 4 times. Show them you can do this to make it the norm in your home.
I am taking bookings for family consultations. Please get in touch if you feel I might be able to help and inspire you to make sustainable changes. Good luck.