As parents, we all want our children to live long, healthy and prosperous life that is full of success and happiness.
One crucial component that can make this a reality is the food that we give to our children.
Unfortunately, we all have different opinions when it comes to deciding foods that we give to our children.
Recent worldwide health study that was published in The Lancet revealed that children who are born in Japan are projected to live the longest and healthiest life because of health eating .
This has largely been attributed to lifestyle that they embrace and healthy eating habits.
As the number of children suffering from diabetes, obesity and many other lifestyle diseases continue to rise in many parts of the world, these diseases have been declining in Japan.
In fact, recent statistics have shown that childhood obesity and diabetes are at record low.
So the big question is, what are Japanese people doing that other people across the globe are missing? Based on our extensive research and interviews with top nutritionists and doctors around the world, we have complied valuable lessons that parents can take to boost metabolism, enhance the health and well-being of their children.
1. They prepare meals that is highly nutritious and fulfilling
Japanese foods are packed with vital nutrients and minerals that your body needs for proper functioning.
When you eat food that your body needs, you naturally eliminate crave for unhealthy junk foods. You don’t have to feed your children with tofu, sushi or seaweed.
All that you need to do is cultivate healthy eating habits and your child will adapt.
Japanese diet mainly comprises of plant base foods like whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables and fat such as omega 3 that healthy and highly nutritious.
You will hardly find Japanese people eating highly processed foods with plenty of added salt and sugar.
Their foods are high in vital nutrients and low in calories. As a result, their children are less likely to suffer from obesity and list of diseases that are associated with obesity.
That is why most Japanese children live a long and healthy life. One popular Japanese food is brown short grain rice that is tasty and low in calories.
2. Eat together as a family
Another secret about Japanese people is that they enjoy eating meals together.
One thing that most parents don’t know is that when they show their kids that they are actually enjoying eating healthy foods that they have prepared at home, their children will also follow suit. Children usually emulate what their parents are doing.
When you show your children that you enjoy eating healthy foods and they taste amazing, then your children will relax and feel comfortable when eating.
Cook your meals with love and ensure that you eat together as family.
3. Try new foods
Just like adult, children also like and dislike certain foods overtime.
As a parent, you need to guide your children by exposing them to wide variety of food overtime.
The early your expose your children to wide variety of healthy foods, the faster they will be able to embrace healthier diet.
The desire to try new foods usually grow as they continue to grow up.
You need to expose them to new healthy foods in small portions to diversify their diet.
Introducing new foods on their diet will not only improve their appetite but also help to prolong their lives.
4. Mind portions that you serve
The average size of a dinner plate has increased tremendously over the past few years.
Serving using large plate increases the chances of overeating and hence being overweight and obese.
However, you can ovoid this by reducing plate size. Serve meals in smaller plates.
This will go a long way in helping to keep your children appetite in right perspective.
Don’t forget to serve vegetables and fruits.
5. Allow your children to engage in fun physical activities
Advance in technology has really taken a toll on children.
Unlike the past where children engaged in fun physical activities with their peers, nowadays most children prefer to sit in beds or couches and play video games all day.
Instead of allowing your children to sit all day in the house playing video games, encourage them to engage in physical activities such as jumping, biking and walking. Research has shown that Japan people embrace children biking or walking to school.
That explains why the country has the lowest rate of childhood obesity.
According to world health organization (WHO), right physical activity for children aged between 5-17 years can foster healthy muscles, joints and bones health.
It also helps to improve management of anxiety and symptoms, enhance social interaction, enhance coordination as well as improve cardiovascular system.
Children are biologically engineered to jump, run and move. When they engage in physical activities, they become happier and more focused and hence perform better at school.
6. Cultivate healthy food and lifestyle choices
The secret to nature healthy and happy kids is by cultivating healthy food and lifestyle choices.
Some of the things to do to achieve this include eating meals together as a family, preparing delicious meals and showing your children that the meals are tasty.
If your child is between 6-10 years, you can bring him/her along when preparing healthy and delicious meals.
This will help them appreciate the effort and time taken to prepare the meals and are more likely to enjoy it more.
7. Exercise authority over your children
Some parents usually allow their children to call shots when it comes to determining the type of food to eat.
If that is the case with you, then you should stop it immediately. As the parent, you should not accept your children to control you on what they should eat.
Instated you should be the one determining what they eat.
Children are observant and manipulative.
If they realize that you have a weakness of always wanting to please them, they will take advantage of that. One thing about Japanese parents is that they exercise authority over their children.
They are always in control and have established rules that their children needs to follow.
To increase chances of your children living a long, healthy and happy life, then you must be firm and authoritative in food and lifestyle habits that you instill on your kids.