With April this year having been marked by the sacred holidays of Easter, Passover and Ramadan, how can parents prepare to promote family health when the inevitable ‘rush’ returns? Though juggling the wellbeing of everyone in the family unit can feel like an eternal battle in the modern era of busyness, art of the solution is really as simple as getting this basic piece right: nutrition!
While a frozen meal can sometimes be a lifesaver, it’s worth taking the time as parents to think about how the items on the shopping list translate nutritionally. The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation highlights the differing nutritional needs within the family by life stage. Its guide notes that while a key focus for teenagers should be iron and calcium, adults should look to eat with a focus on reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease. With multigenerational households it’s important to note that older adults need more protein and vitamin D.
It would be impossible to head into the supermarket with a different recipe in mind for the nutritional needs of each family member, but how much do we know as a society about the make-up of the foods we are eating? Our diets should include a variety of vitamins and minerals, but increasing our knowledge of where they are coming from is a way of getting more bang for your buck. Take a look at the nutritional composition of broccoli, for example; would you have thought it high in vitamin C and calcium? You’d be better off to include this vegetable in your meals than say, corn, which is less nutritionally valuable and has a higher glycaemic index.
Eating well also goes beyond the nutritional makeup of your plate. The non-profit organisation Healthy Food Choices in Schools references a range of different research that demonstrates eating meals as a family is a practice parents can implement to support family health. There is evidence to show that eating meals together sets children up for healthier habits later in life, as parents have the opportunity to lead by example with their nutrition choices. Other research has found that children who eat with their families tend to be less likely to deal with obesity and eating disorders. The benefits of family mealtimes go beyond physical health too, with better academic and social development cited as an outcome. Of course, there is also a sense of connectedness, which can be just the right antidote for society’s fast pace.
Finally, it’s worth considering the impact that modern life has had on the quality of food we eat. An instalment of BBC’s Follow the Food addressed studies showing a significant drop in the nutritional values of popular vegetables since 1950. There are multiple factors at play here, spanning declining soil quality to the introduction of high-yield crops and an increased use of artificial pesticides.
That’s where a boost from something like Power Pollen can come into play! Potentiated bee pollen is your one-stop shop for a broad range of bioavailable vitamins, amino acids, minerals and antioxidants. This superfood is the perfect top-up for general family wellbeing. As food for thought, a reduction in the nutritional quality of high-yield crops could serve as the motivation you need to start your own vegetable garden. This can be a family project, and combines quality time with dietary education in a time when self-sufficiency would have a much-needed positive environmental impact too.
So, what’s for dinner?