Healthy eating for the whole family
My weekly #ParentingToday session on Lagos Talks 91.3 fm was enlightening and amazing, thanks to our guest Dr Sade Adeyi, who is a GP at Brookside Medical Practice. We discussed Healthy Living For The Whole Family and she shared practical tips on how to achieve a healthy lifestyle for the family.
See highlights below
. Everybody needs to know what healthy living means for them. You have to have an idea of what you are trying to achieve for yourself and your family and then be intentional about it.
. Things we are used to doing as a society may sometimes have adverse effects on our health.
Here in Nigeria, we love red meats. We are learning increasingly that red meat can be very dangerous for your body when it comes to breaking it down. We love our fried foods, if they do not serve small chops at parties, it is not a party! We also like to consume quite a bit of alcohol. It is always served at every occasion. We need to take them in moderation.
Reduce alcohol intake. For men, more than 14 drinks a week is considered excessive. For women not more than 7. It depends on what the drink is and what the alcohol quantity is for each drink.
. It is actually easy to ensure that children start eating healthy from a very early age
Parents are the ones who introduce kids to what they consider to be a normal diet. It is very important to ensure that you model the right examples when a child is young and you are still in control of what they put in their body. Children usually do not want to eat vegetables or fruits. They could like orange juice but do not want to eat an orange. However, as parents, we have to take a stand and explain to them that they also need the good fibre in the orange itself.
It feels like it is hard when they are stubborn and arguing but the long term effects are actually amazing. So, don’t just satisfy their cravings, you have to make these deliberate choices. Instead of offering them meat all the time, offer them fish, or chicken or lean meat like goat meat which is a healthier option.
. Ensure that children are not exposed to sugary drinks early
Once they develop that taste and affinity for soda, then it stays with them for the rest of their life. Raise children to understand that everything has to be taken in moderation.
. Just being slim does not mean that one is healthy. If you feel healthy, there is nothing wrong with feeling healthier. No matter how healthy one may feel naturally, it is also a good idea to improve your health and incorporate the tips we have shared.
. Sleeping a minimum of 7-8 hours per night is beneficial. You will wake up feeling refreshed, your mind is clearer, you are able to have a more efficient day and you can plan the things that you need to do
. Exercise! If you exercise, your body is able to sweat out a lot of toxins and you are able to feel great about yourself. Exercise is not just good for your body and your weight control, it is good for your mind also. You may be a slim person, but you do not know the mental benefits you will be losing out on if you do not exercise.
. Snacking is not a bad idea, it just needs to be healthy. Snacking keeps your body constantly burning fuel. It also keeps your energy level up. Avoid starving yourself during the day and eating a really big meal at night. It will make you feel heavy and lethargic when you go to bed.
. You do not have to wait till you are sick before you see a doctor. Wellness checks are important at least once a year to ensure that you never get sick. You should know your blood pressure, cholesterol level, and get your basic health checks done.
Some of the questions we got were:
Is it advisable to give children chicken without the skin?
Dr Adeyi: It is not a bad idea. We do know that the skin of chicken can be fatty. For children, we are not trying to limit their fat because there are good fats. So, I am not particularly concerned about if a child is eating the chicken skin.
However, it is a good idea to let them know as they get older that the chicken will be healthier without the skin. While they are young, you can serve the chicken with and without the skin so that they can get used to seeing it both ways.
When one goes to an event or a restaurant, is it advisable to use a straw that a server/waiter has already touched?
Instead of having someone pick up the straw for you, please ask to pick it yourself since you know that your hands will be clean. Regardless, waiters are supposed to constantly wash their hands and maintain proper hygiene.
Is it advisable to expose kids to slimming tea to burn the junks that they consume?
No! Please do not give children slimming tea. Adults also should not take slimming teas. There are different types of slimming tea and most times one does not know what ingredients are in it. These things don’t go through as much regulation or verification process as drugs do. It is better to help children avoid eating junks than to try to use slimming tea to cleanse it.
Yetty Williams CEO of LagosMums also shared that healthy meals are key. Her #LagosMumsHacks for healthy meals are
. Have a meal timetable
A meal timetable helps you plan. When you can plan, you are less reactive and you are able to regulate what the children eat. Download a meal timetable for the family on lagosmums.com to help make meal planning easier. You can also download a back-to- school meal timetable for the kids.
. Incorporate veggies into their favourite meals.
Most children do not like vegetables. And it is usually a struggle to get them to eat it. A great way to do this is to blend the vegetables into whatever food you are preparing. This way, they do not miss out on all the nutrients that can only be gotten from vegetables. Adding pureed vegetables to a tomato based sauce for Jollof rice or other meals does not change the taste of the food at all. They will love it.
. Remove junk food from the house
If it is not in the house, it is easier for them not to crave it.
. Don’t fight children on screen time, instead offer kids a good alternative
A lot of children these days are “couch potatoes”. They are usually always on their device. We should not fight them over using devices because they are digital natives. Instead, we should give them healthy alternatives. For every 30 minutes they spend online, they should also use that amount of time to play, run around or just do something else.
The doctors at Brookside Medical Practice would love to see you for a healthy living consultation! Call 0817 979 5565 to schedule a #healthylivingconsultation in April and mention LagosMums and Lagostalks and get 25 per cent off your consultation.
Yetty Williams, Founder LagosMums (Parenting Coach, Digital Media Marketing Strategist) | LagosMums.com
Connect: Instagram @LagosMums | Twitter @LagosMums