This morning my son had an appointment with his nutritionist. Now it’s the first time we’ve ever been to one, because frankly, I don’t think he needs to see one. He eats healthy, fruits, veggies, even healthy shakes in the morning, and of course, no sugar and limited snacking. However, that said, he’s still a big boy and we can’t seem to get him to drop the weight. So I thought, okay, we’ll see this nutritionist and see if she think what I’m doing for him isn’t good enough, and I should be doing things differently.
Well, when we got in there, the first thing she said when I told her what his eating schedule was like, was “you’re doing everything right, and I commend that you provide a healthy meal schedule for him.” Well I just felt like it was a wasted trip, because I was frustrated that even though I’m doing things right, I can’t seem to help my son better. And of course, me being the ever curious, electronically inclined person that I am, I started doing research after I got home. Just to see how others dealt with this sort of problem, I began looking into other countries to see how they raised their children with healthy eating, if at all. I was rendered speechless at what I was seeing, really. We may not be the only obese country, as Mexico is holds the title for the highest obesity rate, but over one-third of adults are obese. That number drops significantly to just 5 percent in Japan and India.
It’s our processed foods, our bleached foods, the fact that when we don’t have time, we order out to restaurants that use frozen foods, or so much grease that it’s dripping off that delicious piece of pizza. We love fried foods, we crave quick and easy, and some of us, we relish the taste of that cake. Me, I eat healthy, it’s mandatory that my kids eat healthy, no cakes, or anything sugar in my house, and only healthy, all natural ice cream for an occasional dessert. But regardless, even though I make a habit of providing my children with home cooked meals everyday, I’m still using certain foods that are processed and have all these additives in them. Half my pantry isn’t healthy, just my fridge, and the select few items in my pantry that are natural. So today, that’s my focus, bringing the healthy example to you, by showing you what people around the world eat, how they prepare, perhaps it can encourage, for your children if anything, to follow their examples, because that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to start tossing my food, and finding better ways, even if I have to prepare ahead most items on my menu, who cares, as long as my kids are healthy, and I’m healthy, that’s what matters most, because at the end of the day, these kids are my world and I want healthy, better for them.
So here it is folks, the breakdown of how we can kick the unhealthy, for the healthy. We start with the obvious, Japan.
- The Japanese place emphasis on presentation. Small portions, colorful, seasonal vegetables. The smaller amount of portions, means fewer calories, and you get your vitamins and minerals from the veggies.
- Skip the fish, because as they’re high in heavy metals. Mercury is common in tuna, king mackerel, and swordfish. So avoid sushi that has tuna and mackerel. Normally I go for salmon, or California rolls, avocado rolls.
- They eat a lot of rice as well, and rice in the right amounts, is great for you, but make sure to steam it, that’s a much healthier option.
Now when it comes to Chinese cuisine, it has to be prepared properly, so as not to be fatty, and rice heavy. Two western nutrition experts, Patrick Holford and Ian Marber explain it perfectly. Holford says,
“The latest research into weight loss shows that calorie-controlled, low-fat diets are less effective than low glycemic load diets, which is exactly what a traditional Chinese diet is.”
“There is one calorie in a Diet Coke, and 340 calories in an avocado. Which one is actually good for you? It’s a no-brainer. The avocado supplies you with monounsaturated fats and omega-6, which actually help increase metabolic rate.”
The chinese don’t consider calories, so they obviously take in more calories than americans. They consume 30 percent more calories than us, and according to sources, they aren’t necessarily more active.
Marber says: “I’m a great believer in combining protein and carbohydrate. There aren’t many complex carbohydrates in vegetables, but they should count as a dish. If the majority of your meal is vegetables, and you add some protein, you’ll always have a perfect meal.”
We tend to binge eat, and the chinese don’t, they only eat until they’re full. Three square meals, they do eat a lot of rice, and can be somewhat pudgy Marber says, but I don’t see that in all chinese people, it’s all about each person and what their intake is.
Soup is another menu item that they eat quite a bit, and that’s a good item to add to your list of things to eat. The meals must be balanced correctly, incorporating protein and carbohydrates which stabilise blood sugar. I also drink a lot of green tea, which has helped me to not just keep the weight off, but to curb my appetite so I don’t overeat. Although I do now thanks to the tea, have come accustomed to only eating once a day which is not necessarily healthy, but I do eat small healthy snacks throughout the day such as almonds, or a light salad with some feta cheese.
Those are only two countries that are examples of healthy eating habits, but the Independent UK gives the breakdown of the various countries and cuisines, including nordic cuisine which I have made at home before (and my kids love it), that can change your diet, and help you eat healthier. So it’s really worth taking a gander at it, and maybe googling some recipes that will help you achieve this.
Photo credit // main image, healthy food house
Photo credit // japan, Express.co.uk
Photo credit // China, FCE