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Teach children mindful eating for better health later in life

Read on to see how mindful eating can help develop good eating habits.

According to Nestlé, at least 13% of children under five years in South Africa are overweight, while one in four are undernourished and have stunted growth.

There are many reasons for these issues, but one of the most significant is food choices, which usually lack fruit and vegetables.

These unhealthy habits can contribute to obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, which can negatively affect the health and development of children.


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The practice of mindful eating helps children pay attention to the food they eat and how they eat. Because children tend to eat slower, this approach helps them digest their food better and keeps them fuller for longer.

“Incorporating mindful eating into a daily routine can help children learn to appreciate their favourite foods more and try something new.

“This is key in developing good eating habits and it is also a great opportunity to introduce them to healthy foods, such as fruit and vegetables as they grow,” said Anne-Marie de Beer, nutrition health and wellness manager at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region.


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Snack time, lunch or family time are all great opportunities for mindful eating. These moments help children connect to food and can help them build healthy habits and develop a positive view of nutrition.

Being mindful can be as simple as limiting screen time, to focusing more on the act of eating. Limiting distractions helps develop and maintain that focus in children, teaching them to avoid eating too quickly.

Cooking together is a great preamble to practising mindful eating.

The process of making a meal or snack gives children the opportunity to see it come together from start to finish with their own hands.

“By teaching them, the art of mindful eating from a young age, they will grow to make responsible decisions with regards to food.

This can stop overeating and help prevent comorbidities, such as diabetes and hypertension,” concluded de Beer.

For more tips on how you can practice mindful eating and get children to eat healthier, caregivers can visit https://www.n4hk-esar.com/

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