Parents and caregivers should talk with their kids and teens about the importance of eating foods that energize and “fuel” them, she said. The focus should be on colorful, nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables and lean meats, and the end goal should center on sound health and balanced nutrition, not weight loss.
“We want to focus more on the healthful nature of food and talk about foods that give us energy or take away our energy,” she explains. “Nurturing a good body image is so important, so children should have some basic nutrition education and learn about balance, moderation and variety when it comes to foods. They need to understand that our bodies thrive on eating colorful fruits and vegetables, that they need calcium and adequate protein, and they also need to be aware that processed and packaged foods may not give them the fuel they need.”
Focusing on the feelings we get from our food is also important, she adds. Questions to ask before or after eating might include: Do you have good energy? Are you alert? Do you feel a sense of vitality, of wellness? Are you feeling full? Tired and hungry?
“It’s about connecting your mind and your body,” she said, adding that good nutrition is also about normalizing eating patterns, not counting calories.
To. learn more grab the Nutrition Issue of MASK The Magazine