21 March 2022
If there’s any group of people for whom healthy eating is specifically essential, its kids! And our habits dictate what, when and how much we eat. These habit which we cultivate early on last a lifetime. Have you found yourself gravitating towards or craving for your mom’s dal-chawal when you are feeling low and sick? Why does that happen – because a part of your subconscious has created this comfort zone and associated ‘love and care’ with the ‘flavours and fragrances’ of your mom’s dal chawal.
Now a similar thing happens let’s say when we as parents create a reward culture around junk food – ordering in pizza is the child scores low on his/her exam. Guess what – this kid grows up, has a bad day at work, and what does he/she eats for dinner that night…Pizza!
The importance of inculcating good eating habits go above and beyond their healthy growth into developing the child’s relationship with food. As parents, we can play a very important part in ensuring that children have a healthy relationship with food and grow into self-sustained adults that can take ownership of their own health, and even pass on these healthy habits to coming generations.
And even research proves that eating healthy at a young age adapts the palate to choosing healthy foods later in life. Psychology Today states that – “even if healthy food is available, college-age students will revert to eating junk foods from their childhood when they are feeling stressed.”
Human beings don’t just eat for calories! Our food relationships define our connection with food, and our experiences with food in our childhood shape the way we think and feel about food. Eating when you are not hungry to deal with negative emotions, bingeing on certain foods leading to guilt and shame are some of the most common signs of an unhealthy relationship with food.
In the end, trust your most core parental instincts and don’t complicate it. We are all doing our bit to raise healthy, independent and responsible citizens of this society. Just trust yourself and remember, love can do a lot more than any science or tips-and-tricks can.
Karnica Singh Nandal
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach & Yoga Instructor
Institute for Integrative Nutrition, NY
The Yoga Institute, 500hr TTC, Mumbai
Your cliché Engineer with an MBA degree, a corporate professional turned wellness enthusiast – I empower people to take responsibility for their own health and achievement of their personal wellness goals by educating, motivating, inspiring, and guiding towards long lasting lifestyle changes.
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