Lifestyle and eating patterns are a big reason for living a longer and healthy life. But food, which is everything needed to nourish the next generation, has become a battleground for most families. The childhood obesity and incidences of diabetes have increased around the world. But among all others, the obesity levels of Japanese children have remained much lower. Historically, the levels have been seen declining. According to researches, there are some practical steps that Japanese parents have been following for years that helped the nation to raise healthy kids.
Following are the reasons that Japanese parents are successful in nurturing the health of their younger generation:
They make family meals more satisfying:
The secret to Japanese eating is different from many countries. They fill up high quality food into the stomachs of their children so that they can have fewer cravings for the junk food. Their nutrition package at mealtimes includes more plant-based foods such as vegetables, whole grain, fruits, and beans. There is less use of the processed food that has added sugar and salt in them. They use brown rice instead of white rice as this rice water-rich when cooked, super filling and much low in calorie.
One of the ways Japanese parents make eating exciting for their children is that they present to them is that they enjoy food and it tastes delicious. They do not force their children to eat instead they create an environment in which their child feels comfortable. The researches have proved that when parents lighten up the stress for eating, children eat better on their own. Japanese parents set aside specific timings for eating together which makes them enjoy each other’s company as well.
Exploring new food:
Tastes of children change overtime. Japanese parents offer their children new food by starting them with samples of different foods. This according to Japanese folk wisdom is a better way to engage a child in healthy eating.
Japanese style of eating encourages smaller portions of food instead of the super-sized portions. Smaller plates do not mean skimping on vegetables and fruit, the lesson is to fill the plate with small portions of salads, bread, fish etc. It helps children to understand that smaller portions can be helpful for gaining energy if it is enriched with high quality food.
Get them moving and jumping:
Biologically children are engineered to run and jump which makes them super active in their studies, make them happier and healthier. The secret to getting children involved in physical activities is that they make it fun in the form of play.