Foodstuffs (South Island) Community Trust and the Gut Foundation realise that there are so many things to consider about food and good health for our kids. With school holidays, just a few weeks away we thought it would be a great time to plan some food experiences with your children. The Gut Foundation asked Stephanie Brown, paediatric gastro dietician, to set out her thoughts on how to involve your children in providing healthy food experiences for the whole family.
As a dietician, we not only look at food intake but the variety of other aspects that impact on the food/eating experience. These cover things such as messages around food, exercise and activities. Baking together is a fun activity and you can give kids good tips to make baking healthier like try reducing the amount of sugar or replacing 1/3 of white flour with wholemeal flour.
Give kids a challenge to find what they think is a healthy recipe they could make for lunch. Remember lockdown? At this time reducing stress levels in children was important as it helps to protect gut bugs. Being mindful of how you talked about food negating the idea of food scarcity, building a routine with meal and snack times so kids can expect when the next meal is coming which prevents constant seeking of snacks. Stay active, participate in free kids exercise programmes on YouTube, curb boredom snacking by doing activities. Play cards, do puzzles and get outside as often as possible. Sunshine is where we get our vitamin D which is important for bone health as it helps our body absorb calcium from our food and also boosts immunity. Foods that are rich in vitamin D are salmon and eggs. All these ideas are equally relevant during school holidays.
Healthy snacks for kids
Did you know that our immunity is in our gut?
Talking about feeding our gut microbes, we also need enough fibre!
Finally drink water, staying hydrated is very important for good gut health.
Find out more information about the Gut Foundations' latest research, gut health and how you can support them at thegut.org.nz.