Being a nanny can be a challenging job, but is equally rewarding just like any other job.
Often, taking care of a child is a 24/7 job that includes preparing their meals and lunchboxes to take to school. And this is a good thing because a nanny can become a good influence for children to develop healthy eating habits!
Incredibly, in a Telegraph report, data from the Public Heath England shows that six billion Britons will suffer from diabetes. The warning comes ahead of the increasing numbers of overweight primary-schoolers. Diabetes, which often occur due to bad eating habits and lack of physical exercise, is a lifestyle disease often linked to obesity.
Obesity and diabetes are essentially lifestyle diseases—they happen due to bad choices. The good thing about it? Lifestyle diseases are preventable.
If we want to build up an army of healthy, active and strong kids who will become productive adults in the future, then starting the habit of making healthy food choices at an early age is a must.
And this is when you, nannies come to the rescue! As guardians of our kids, we have a big responsibility and opportunity to teach them how to make the right choices to eating healthy and fighting obesity.
Here are some simple ideas to put into practice:
Begin with a simple mantra: Health is wealth.
We cannot stress this well enough. Being healthy is equivalent to being rich. A healthy kid can go out and enjoy playing under the sun, form great relationships and is ready for learning. Therefore, health should be a goal in living a rich life. Quite big words to teach a young child but nevertheless, this is essential so they will understand the value of building the habits discussed in below items.
Let them cook and go on the grocery trip.
To help kids make the right food choices, it will be a good idea bring them along when you go to the super market so they can appreciate the colours and shapes of fresh produce. Play home at time can also be converted into something productive by letting them help you in the kitchen. A simple task of washing vegetables can help raise their confidence and sense of achievement. Be sure to appreciate and reward good behaviour!
Eat your vegies, too.
Teaching by doing is an important factor to help cultivate a good behaviour in your charges. Most will imitate and mirror what adults do so make sure that when you tell them to eat healthy, you are doing it, too! It builds credibility and trust. If eating vegetables is a big step for the child start by doing fruit smoothies—they are both delicious and nutritious. Don’t forget to play with flavours and colours too.
Add colours and design plates.
On one weekend, pretend that you and your kid are food artists. Design their favourite healthy snack and put smiling faces or make it look like characters from their favourite cartoon. Involve them in the process so that they too will have the fun in both making the plate and eating out of it.
The World Health Organization prescribes 150 minutes of physical activity per week in general to maintain good health. Kids being balls of energy can do a lot. Running, walking the dog, or maybe, doing some light chores at home will be cheaper alternatives. If possible, encourage them to try swimming or dancing classes, or just have a sport so that they will learn the value of spending time away from computers and to meet new people.
In sum, fighting obesity is all about making healthy food and lifestyle choices. As nannies, we’re in best position to put this fight to an end and help raise healthy kids.
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