Happy hearts & healthy tummies: Part 2

By June 7, 2017BLOG
Munching Mongoose berry heart

What does it mean to have a happy and healthy relationship with food? Is it going on a ‘diet’ regularly? Is it only eating foods that are deemed ‘healthy’ for you? Is it eating food to make you happy? Or maybe it’s eating foods that are fun and put a smile on your face, like unicorn frappes and bar-one doughnuts! It’s none of the above. And if we admit it to ourselves, having a happy and healthy relationship with food is a rather difficult thing to achieve. And as a parent, it’s your rather daunting responsibility to impart that to your child. Where do you even start?

You start with the food you eat. In our previous blog post, we spoke about the importance of a balanced and varied diet for your child, and shared some practical tips to increase the variety of foods your child eats. However, healthy eating is about more than what we eat, it’s about how we eat it, and the mindset and way of thinking that drives our choice of what to eat.

Let’s start with what it means to have a happy and healthy relationship with food. It’s about seeing food as nourishment for our bodies. Without jumping too excitedly on the hippie bandwagon, eating should be an act of self-love, of respecting your body, eating what our bodies need, really need, by being in tune with your body, and listening to it, when it’s hungry and when it’s full. It’s about seeing food for what it is, fuel for your body, not the cause of or the solution to your emotional problems. When you have a happy and healthy relationship with food, your food choices are driven by love, joy, self-awareness, energy and health; love for our bodies, pure joy at eating food that is as delicious, as it is nutritious, and awareness of the food we choose to put in our bodies.

Whatever your relationship with food, as a parent you want to give your child the best chance at a happy and healthy one. Here’s some tips to get you started:

Do your best to be a positive role model.

Think about how you eat your food, how you talk about food, the foods you turn to when you’re sad, or what about when you’re happy? And how your child will see your behaviour. Whatever your unhealthy food habit, maybe it’s time for a change.

Plan, prepare and eat meals together as family, at the dinner table.

Start to create happy, healthy family traditions and rituals. Putting food and family together fosters the idea that food is something to share, something that brings people together.

Reduce the amount of sugar you and your family eat.

The thing with sugar is that it turns off the body’s automatic full-switch, making it impossible to listen to how your body’s feeling and when it’s had enough. It’s also addictive, and that comes with its own unhealthy, emotional rollercoaster. One idea is to change how you reward or treat your kids. Instead of sugary, sweet treats after dinner, why not set aside time for family fun; board games or watching a movie together.

Don’t demonise certain foods, and worship others.

Remember, if you see food as nourishment for our body, and understand how different foods impact your body, then naturally you will want to eat more of the right kind of food, and your child will follow suit.

It’s the regular, daily habits that matter.

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, and life happens. You’ll have a terrible day and eat a tub of ice-cream. You’ll be exhausted and eat take-outs in front of the TV. It’s fine. It’s human. And it’s important that your child understands that, and doesn’t see you beat yourself up when things go pear-shaped. Once-off treats, and occasional indulgences don’t derail the whole train, in fact, they teach your kids about moderation.

Keep your child’s natural intuition alive.

Children are naturally more intuitive when it comes to their bodies. Keep that connection alive, by encouraging them to listen to their bodies. This one’s tricky, because you also need to make sure your child eats enough, and enough of the right things. But give your child a little freedom to choose how much they want to serve on their plates, how much they eat, and what they like or don’t like, so they can feel in control of their bodies.

We hope the tips and ideas we’ve shared in this post, and the last, help you and your family on your journey towards a happier, healthier life!

 

Here at The Munching Mongoose, we believe in eating for happy hearts and healthy tummies, and strive to support a balanced and varied diet, for you and your family. And we would love to be a part of your journey to health and happiness. Our boxes are filled with a variety of organic, seasonal fruit and veg, farm-fresh milk, free range eggs, handmade cheese and freshly baked bread. And we also include a surprise product every week, ranging from raw honey, to home baked rusks, to support local suppliers and, of course, to have an occasional indulgence! We also have a range of add on products, including our Munch Packs. Designed in partnership with a Paediatric Dietitian, Lindsay Archibald-Durham, they are perfect as lunch packs for young children, or snack packs for adults and teens. They include a balanced variety of protein, healthy fats and wholegrain carbohydrates, to keep you and your family going, and are free from preservatives and refined sugars. Why not give us a try? Sign-up now!

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