Eating healthy is one of the most important things students can do for their bodies. It’s essential for maintaining a healthy weight, strengthening bones, supporting growth, boosting immunity, and providing all the nutrients needed for optimal brain development. We should all know by now that eating a balanced diet with foods high in nutrients gives students the energy to stay focused in class and perform their best.
When my children were younger, and I still made breakfast and lunch for them, I always tried my best to provide healthy choices. It was great, too, because their elementary school emphasized teaching their students healthy nutrition. It was a part of their PE education. They focused on physical activity for two days, and the third day was “Wellness.” So, the things taught at school supported what I was teaching at home.
Eating healthy also helps us have a more positive outlook, thus being more cooperative and tolerant in a group setting. And school gives kids plenty of chances to learn how to be more cooperative students with integrity and character. The right frame of mind for eating healthy helps students put good character into practice, resulting in positive citizenship at home, at school, and in the community. In a sense, eating healthy is good for the communities we live, work and play in.
Why is it important to teach kids about healthy eating habits?
By teaching kids about food that’s good for their health when they’re little, you can set them up for a lifetime of wellness.
On the contrary, poor eating habits in childhood can have serious long-term implications on a child’s health and well-being. It typically leads to obesity, which is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, and other chronic health conditions. It can also cause anemia, weakened bones, stunted growth, and deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals.
In addition to physical health issues, poor eating habits can also lead to difficult relationships with the food itself. Many children who grow up learning unhealthy eating habits struggle with dysfunctional eating patterns as they grow older. This may include emotional eating or restrictive behaviors such as skipping meals or cutting out entire food groups. These behaviors can be dangerous and may lead to complications such as malnutrition or unhealthy weight loss/gain.
I have seen both extremes within my circle of family and friends. It is more common than one might think. Grateful my mother started the change with me, and thus, I have made huge changes for my children. Plus, thankfully, we know more now than we did then.
Teaching kids about healthy eating habits is an important step toward helping them develop a positive relationship with food in the future. By teaching them what foods are good for their bodies at a young age, you’re setting them up for success in the future by equipping them with the knowledge they need to make healthy dietary choices when they’re on their own.
We also know that this is what we need to do, not just for our children but for ourselves as well. For example, recent medical journals have emphasized the importance of good gut health. But what does that even mean? And how do I care for my gut?
How can I improve my gut health?
When considering improving gut health, including plant-based proteins in your diet is just as important as using animal-based protein sources. Plant-based proteins have enormous nutritional benefits and are high in nutrients that promote gut health. In addition, plant-based protein sources contain certain enzymes that help the body break down food better and more efficiently.
These enzymes also support the production of bile salts that are needed for healthy digestion. Without these enzymes, you may fall ill with digestive problems, including inflammation. Therefore, plant-based proteins should be ingested as often as animal-based proteins.
- Whole grains are a vital source of fiber and other nutrients that promote gut health. This is because whole grains contain high levels of B vitamins, potassium, manganese, calcium, and Vitamin E, which help boost the immune system and increase energy levels during the day.
Whole grains are also low in calories, and they have a high amount of essential nutrients as well as fiber to help keep the digestive tract clean and free of toxins. Whole grains can be eaten either as part of a meal or as an energy snack, such as nuts, seeds, and fruits which contain high amounts of plant-based proteins and fats.
- Legumes are an important source of plant-based proteins which promote gut health. Legumes have been shown to improve the daily pattern for people with bowel motion or constipation issues. Legume also contains a high amount of fiber that helps to regulate the digestive system by increasing the quantity of waste passed each day through the digestive tract.
The fiber in legumes is very important because it promotes a healthy microbiome in the gut by increasing levels of beneficial bacteria in the intestine and discouraging harmful bacteria from growing inside the gut. The high-fiber content also helps cleanse the body by removing fecal matter each day, preventing diseases from developing in the intestine.
- Fruits and vegetables are important for gut health because they contain high amounts of fiber and nutrients that promote a healthy microbiome in the gut while discouraging harmful bacteria from growing inside the intestines. Fruits and vegetables also help cleanse the body by removing toxins daily through bowel movements.
While fruits and vegetables contain a small amount of protein, they are very important for gut health because they help to cleanse the body while promoting a healthy microbiome.
- Fish and meats should be included in your diet as often as possible to promote gut health. Meats, especially grass-fed beef, and free-range chicken, contain high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which help support a healthy gut microbiome.
Omega 3 fatty acids also aid in repairing and strengthening the intestinal barrier that protects your digestive system from toxins and other harmful substances that may enter the small intestine. Fish such as salmon contain high protein levels while containing essential omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D.
Because salmon contains algae which produce high amounts of Vitamin D in the body, it is an excellent source of selenium, Vitamin B12, and other nutrients that promote gut health and heart health.
What are the benefits of eating healthy for students?
Teaching kids about healthy eating habits is a crucial step toward ensuring their future physical and mental well-being. By learning about nutritious foods early on, children can develop the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy dietary choices for the rest of their lives. And implementing this into our children’s education outside the home increases the odds tremendously.