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Kids & Gardening; Creating Healthy Habits

Posted on 14 March 2016
Kids & Gardening; Creating Healthy Habits
You may have seen our recent post on Facebook & Instagram regarding the health status of our children in Australia in 2016. Currently we have 1/4 of all kids overweight or obese, & we have unprecedented rates of illnesses such as asthma & allergies. Rates of these conditions have risen steadily over the past century, & what science is telling us is that the food our children eat plays a large factor.

According to statistics, if we continue to allow these trends to prosper, then we may be approaching a generation that will have trouble reproducing.

There are numerous factors that come into play when it comes to illness, such as the microbiome & genetic influences, however in today's story we'll focus on food, & we'll give you tips on how you can begin creating healthy habits with your kids.

Create an Urban Food Garden for your kids to be involved with.

One of the greatest ways you can inspire a respect for nature's food supply in your children is to encourage them to be involved in your home garden. By fostering an interest, need & passion for growing their own food, children are far more likely to develop integral food skills & healthy eating habits which will serve them for the rest of their life. Access to fresh fruit & vegetables due to pricing, location & seasonal availability are known barriers which prevent children consuming them; all these barriers are overcome with a home garden.

Children naturally enjoy time outdoors anyway, according to prominent health experts this has numerous benefits for their immune system, so encouraging play time to be spent amongst the garden is an easy alternative to indoor distractions. Whilst outdoors, your children will be exposed to sunlight from which they can create vitamin D, will get fresh air which we know is important, & if barefoot they'll absorb valuable antioxidant free electrons from the ground.

Showing your kids the process from ground to table can be a fantastic experience. You may wish to grow kid-friendly produce such as berries, oranges, sweet potatoes & avocados these can be eaten fresh, or can be incorporated into various meals which the kids will enjoy even more knowing they participated in providing the ingredients.

However you choose to include your kids in your gardening regime at home, make it fun & lighthearted. Don't be militant about schedules & rules, but rather encourage your kids to discover these on their own so that they truly enjoy the experience of being amongst your garden.

Don't be overzealous with your kids about their food choices - allow them to independently make decisions.

Dr Brett Hill, an Adelaide chiropractor, writes in Nourish Without Nagging that adults shouldn't take an approach that involves chastising their kids for making poor food choices, but rather encourages them to make connections between what they eat & how they feel. Naturally, when kids consume processed foods their immune systems are suppressed, their moods & energy levels can become erratic, & fostering the acknowledgement of these results is one of the best ways to build healthy food habits with your kids.

Your children's health is one of the most powerful things you can give to them & as parents we are in the important position of fostering its growth until they become independent. By emphasising the powerful value of growing your own food & encouraging your kids to discover healthy food habits could well be the difference between disease & wellness in the future.

So go on, get out there & get planting with the kids!

Urban Food Garden, Your Way To A Healthy Future

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