Eating Well… Made Simple
Eating is supposed to be enjoyable, but for many of us, eating is quite the opposite, partly because of all the mixed messages we hear. The Registered Dietitians at BrightBites want to simplify things for you.
First, you should know that how you eat is as important as what you eat. Next, if you want to help others (e.g. children and youth) learn to eat well, you will need to look at your own eating habits and attitudes about eating.
Children and teens are more influenced by what adults do as well as their casual comments (e.g. especially related to weight and dieting) than what they teach.
Ask yourself the following questions.
- Prepare many of your meals and snacks using fresh whole natural ingredients?
- Take time to sit down to enjoy meals with family or with friends?
- Eat at regular times (instead of grazing throughout the day)?
- Pay attention to your feelings of hunger and satisfaction?
- Feel comfortable trying new foods or passing on foods you dislike when offered?
- Try to enjoy every bite?
- Feel good about eating and your body?
Do you choose…
- Water for thirst (mostly)?
- Fruits and vegetables (often)?
- Whole grains (more than highly processed grains)?
- Plant foods such as nuts, seeds, beans and legumes (often)?
- Whole, fresh foods more often than processed or packaged foods?
- Sweets and salty foods (on occasion) without guilt?
If you answer ‘yes’ to most of the questions, you are likely eating well (i.e. you are a competent eater). If you answer ‘no’ most often, you may want to take some time to nurture yourself in this area. We recommend The Ellyn Satter Institute (www.ellynsatterinstitute.org) for help in becoming a ‘competent eater’.
Children and teens are more likely to become competent eaters when the adults in their life (e.g. parents, family members, teachers, coaches, etc.) are competent eaters.