The Seven Es of Healthy Eating and Lifestyle: You Can Help Your Child Avoid Obesity Now and Forever
The statistics on obesity are not only disheartening they are downright scary. One in ten people world-wide, including children, are considered obese and the consequences are adults and children with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and other health issues. Despite a growing problem, if you know the seven ‘E’s of healthy eating and lifestyle, you can help your child avoid obesity now and forever.
One of the major factors in the rise in obesity is the rise in convenience and fast foods which are typically higher in both fat and sugar. A few restaurants such as McDonalds have responded to consumer pressure and are now offering healthier food choices on their menu such as smaller French fry portions, 1% milk and fruit, but we still have a long way to go.
Many cities and states have enacted bans on trans-fats. In 2018, an FDA ban on partially hydrogenated oil in foods, which will nearly eliminate dietary trans-fat, takes effect nationwide. Trans-fats are a major risk factor in heart attack and stroke.
Chef and food activist Jamie Oliver has taken on the fast food industry and school systems to change public opinion and encourage healthy foods for children. He points out that due to the American diet, we have the first generation of children with more healthy problems and shorter life-spans than their parents.
What are the 7 ‘E’s of Healthy Eating and Lifestyle
1. Example – Set a good example for your kids by following a healthy diet and lifestyle. Instead of a supersized fry and drink why not try making veggies chips or a healthy beverage choice. One mother daughter duo decided to eat better and get healthier together and lost over 100 pounds.
2. Educate – Educate your children about nutrition. Teach them how to read labels, including calorie content and what foods are composed of protein, carbohydrate, or healthy fats.
3. Engage – Engage your kids in food activities like gardening, shopping, food preparation and cooking. A family outing, for instance, could include a Saturday trip to the farmer’s market.
4. Enquire – Enquiring minds want to know what your kids eat at school or when away from home so ask what your child’s school or summer camp serves.
5. Enjoy – Teach your children to enjoy a wide variety of foods and make mealtime about food rather than the TV or social media.
6. Enzymes – Enzymes improve our ability to digest foods and probiotics improve the good flora that keeps the gut healthy. Poor gut health is associated with inflammation and obesity. Eating more vegetables, fermented foods and yogurt helps repopulate healthy bacteria in the gut. You may want to consider talking to your doctor or naturapath about digestive enzymes and probiotics if your child has frequent infections, is overweight or has problems with constipation or irritable bowel.
7. Exercise – The family that plays together stays together and stays healthier. Kids need an hour of play a day and adults should exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Organize activities that get your family moving. Here’s how one single dad is paying it forward and helping kids in his community get the exercise they need.
We want our kids to live long healthy lives but sometimes it’s not so easy to get them to eat healthy or to tear them away from their TV or Xbox. Setting a good example is the best way to help children learn better eating and lifestyle habits. Knowing the seven ‘E’s of healthy eating and lifestyle can help your child avoid obesity now and forever.