Tip 18. A BALANCED DIET
There has been plenty said in the media and nutritionists and health professionals are constantly telling us that we need to have a balanced diet. We've probably all seen the 'food pyramid', which tells us which foods we should eat and in what proportions. There are also many parenting magazines and websites that address these important issues. These tools are a helpful guideline for fathers, to ensure that what our children are eating is good for them, and for their future health.
With childhood obesity at record levels, it is important that we have at least a basic understanding of the issues involved in having a balanced diet. As a nation, over the last 20 years or so, there has been an incredible change in the way we eat.
What used to be prepared in the kitchen at home, is now more and more often purchased from a 'take away', and this opens up a number of questions such as "what is in this food?"
As a general rule if your children eat plenty of breads and grains, along with fruit and vegetables daily, some dairy products and proteins (meats) with a few oils or sweets occasionally things should be fine. But this is only a rough guide, and you may need to seek professional help for specific answers to individual problems.
If I as a father notice that my children are getting 'a little overweight', it may be a good idea to pursue these issues further, and find out if everything is 'in balance'.
We now know that diet alone is not the answer to a healthy body, but that it must be combined with regular exercise. If my children are active most the time and not sedentary in front of the TV etc., then they will tend to burn off a great percentage of what they eat. But if they are eating too many chocolates and not exercising enough, they may be heading toward a health crisis in later life.
Our own example is, as always, one of the greatest ways we can teach our children how to live. If we eat well and exercise often, they will be far more likely to do the same. Our children will more often than not 'follow in our footsteps', and that can be either for good or bad. It is therefore important that we as fathers lead them 'in the way they should go'.
Dads' Call To Action:
Try to ensure that your children are eating a balanced diet. Keep an eye on your children's weight and respond accordingly.
(Proverbs 22 v 6)
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.