January 31, 2020 | by Ioana Popa

Five essential ingredients for a healthy development

You don't need to be a scientist or a certified nutritionist to be able to follow certain guidelines that could significantly improve your wellbeing.
Find below a handful of tips who might come in handy:

1. Eating only nutrient-packed foods. Including all five major foods groups in our daily life, is an easy way to keep track of our nutrient intake: vegetables, fruits, protein rich foods (meat, fish eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds), dairy and whole grain cereals.

2. Limiting highly processed foods. We should include these as little as possible in our diet: pastry, low quality deli (hotdogs, sausages, salami, bologna and others), processed cheese, margarine, store bought sauces and dressings, high sugary foods, sodas, fast food and precooked meals.

3. Paying attention to the hunger and satiety regulating signals. We are born with an internal “nutrient accounting system”. This system is still very well adjusted in children,
but there are a few ways to disturb it if we are not careful. That's why we should avoid:

• Giving food an emotional valence: happiness, love, reward punishment or others.
• Frequent use of high palatable foods, usually low in nutrient density, such as snacks, highly-processed foods and foods with a high in sugar.
• Being distracted while eating (playing, TV, smartphone, notebook etc.).
• Restrictive diets.

4. Being active! Physical activity brings many advantages at all ages and it shouldn’t be considered an opportunity for a (food) reward nor a punish or torture for extra weight.
Some of the benefits include: optimum development, improving mood, strengthening your muscle, improving mobility, balance and coordination, social skills.

• It is more likely to happily engage in physical activity if it comes in an age-appropriate form of exercise. We should make sure to take this into consideration when choosing
the right sport for us and our family.

5. Creating a healthy food environment. The foods we have around us are the foods we’ll end up eating. So, it’s important to create a design that will lead to a positive nutritional
and health status.

• Starting with the grocery list and ending with the larder, we should make sure we are preparing for the outcome we wished for.

P.S. That candy drawer isn’t doing anyone any favors.


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