How often have you struggled to find a ‘healthy’ meal alternative for your son? The fast pace of our lives can take its toll, and with no sign of it slowing down soon, we are always looking for shortcuts and convenience.
When it comes to food, sometimes the most convenient option isn’t always the healthiest. Or so we think.
The Victorian State Government highlights an alarming figure – 25 percent of children are considered overweight or obese, identifying five key risk factors for childhood obesity:
- Food choices
- Lack of physical activity
- Increased sedentary time (watching television, playing video games etc)
- Overweight parents
Genetics is a tough factor to overcome, but the other four can all easily be dealt with head on. We have written numerous blogs on the benefits of playing sport which can help deal with a lack of physical activity, and we also covered how to provide a healthy nutritional plan for teenagers.
Now we want to debunk some common healthy eating myths, to give you even more knowledge as you look to provide your son with a healthy meal. Here are six healthy eating myths you need to dismiss.
Myth 1: To change your weight, you need to diet
This is perhaps the biggest myth of all, and one that can have surprising negative impacts on mental health. When we think of a diet we often think of a short-term eating plan designed to give us immediate results. This way of thinking is actually quite detrimental as making serious changes to our bodies requires a long-term approach. Instead of thinking of it as a diet, think of it as a lifestyle change.
Myth 2: You should avoid bread, pasta and rice to lose weight
This is a common myth that a lot of us subscribe to, and it simply isn’t true. When eaten in excess, carbohydrates are easily turned into fat cells by our bodies. But your son’s body needs carbs to function normally, and especially for growth. The key is to eat the right amount at the right time, usually just before physical activity.
Myth 3: Gluten-free options are healthier
Gluten-free is healthier – for people suffering celiac disease. For everyone else, gluten-free options have no impact on your general wellbeing and will generally only add to your grocery bill.
Myth 4: You should avoid fats to lose weight
This is a tricky myth, but a myth all the same. While minimising fat intake is key to a healthy diet, your son should eat a small amount of healthy fats from sources such as olive oil, avocados and nuts – these will help him feel full while also providing essential nutrients.
Myth 5: Avoid eating junk food
Anyone who has followed a particular eating plan or lifestyle for a prolonged period can tell you all about cravings. While it is vitally important for your son’s health that the majority of his food choices are healthy, it is also important to allow the occasional ‘cheat’ meal or snack. Even professional athletes allow themselves candy every now and then – it will help keep your son sane by dealing with the cravings.
Myth 6: How you eat is not important
How often does your son eat while watching television or playing a video game? For a lot of people, doing so often results in overeating as we aren’t focussed on what we put in our mouth, but rather what is on a screen. How he eats his food is a really important part of being healthy, and you should encourage him to stop all other activities while eating.
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