Education Matters

Food for thought: ensuring your son maintains a healthy diet

Posted by Trinity Grammar School on Jun 21, 2017 6:00:00 AM

Food for thought: ensuring your son maintains a healthy dietIt’s no secret that maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet does wonders for your mind, body and spirit. Food fuels your son’s body for the physical, creative and intellectual activities he partakes in every day.

You don’t need a degree in nutrition to raise healthy children, just some basic guidelines for their health and wellbeing. Here we offer some food for thought with our seven tips for ensuring your son maintains a healthy diet.

1. Eat more fruit and vegetables
The Heart Foundation of Australia states that fewer than 10 percent of Australians eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables – we should aim to consume five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit every day.

Fruit and vegetables provide important sources of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. They help protect against a number of nasties including heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

If your son is a picky eater try including as many vegetables as possible in discreet ways – for example eggplant, mushrooms and carrot, when cut very small, are hard to distinguish in a Bolognese sauce!

2. Maintain a healthy environment
Ensure your home is stocked with a delicious assortment of nutritious and healthy food and limit the amount of processed and sugary foods you keep in the pantry – if possible have these out of immediate reach. This will encourage your son to eat healthy food, rather than indulge in the sweeter or less healthy options.

3. Educate
Teach your son why he should eat healthy and nutritious foods. Include information about the benefits to his mind, heart, body and spirit. The Heart Foundation and World Health Organization (WHO) offer great advice and information.

4. Get your son involved
Involve your son in shopping for and preparing healthy meals. If you have space, grow your own fresh fruits and vegetables and have your son help with watering, tending and picking the fresh produce. If you can’t grow your own, visit a grower or farmers market and have your son help choose what to buy.

5. Minimise sugar intake
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), many of the sugars consumed are hidden in processed foods that are not usually thought of as sweet. For example, one tablespoon of tomato sauce has around one teaspoon (four grams) of free sugars.

Did you know that a single can of sugar-sweetened soft drink contains up to 10 teaspoons (40 grams) of free sugars?

WHO recommends reducing the intake of free sugars to between five and ten percent of total energy intake.

6. Offer a variety of foods and make it fun
Eat and enjoy a variety of healthy foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat, nuts, seeds, legumes, fish and dairy. Make it an enjoyable experience by dining in different locations such as a picnic in the park, cutting food into fun shapes, or serving it in novel ways, for example on skewers.

7. Model a healthy lifestyle
Your son looks up to you and will copy your behaviours. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables in a variety of ways and model a healthy diet and lifestyle.

For over a century Trinity has guided boys to grow in mind, body and spirit and we recognise that disciplined care of the body and the cultivation of temperate habits are essential for healthy living and the development of well-rounded boys.

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Topics: Parenting tips, Fathering, Trinity difference, Raising boys, Improve learning, Mental health