• Feeding


Tips on how to promote a healthy lifestyle for your children

Obesity is a chronic disease that has tripled between 1975 to 2016, according to the World Health Organization. This rise is also noticeable in children. In 2020, 39 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese, while in 2016, 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese. Chronic obesity may lead to a cascade of other chronic conditions, which is why it is highly important to take action when our children are young.

At Little Lunches, we understand the significance of nurturing healthy habits from a young age. Our app is designed to support families in their journey toward a healthier lifestyle. Here's how Little Lunches can help you encourage a vibrant and balanced life for your children.

Tips to encourage a healthy lifestyle in our children

  1. Eat as a family - Family meals are usually more nutritious than fast food or snacks that children might look for. A study by Berge et al suggested that sharing at least 1-2 family meals weekly can prevent obesity in adolescents. An additional benefit observed is the development of stronger emotional connections with the family members, as it is a time for the family to share. 
  2. Cook well-balanced meals and snacks - You should aim to include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, choose lean proteins and whole grains, serve at least 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy, and limit the consumption of processed foods and added sugar. Remember that parents are the providers! You choose what foods are available in the households, so try to keep healthy snacks available like fresh, sliced fruit and vegetables, mixed nuts, low fat yogurt, whole grain crackers, among other favorites in the house. 
  3. Promote mindful eating - Children know best when they feel full. Encourage them to eat only when they are physically hungry, and enjoy their foods slowly. 
  4. Model the behavior you want your children to learn from you - If a child sees healthy habits, such as exercise, they will most likely want to engage in physical activity too. It is recommended for a child to get involved in physical activity for at least 1 hour daily.
  5. Limit screen time to 1-2 hours daily - Screen time refers to any time spent on the computer, phone, TV, tablets, etc. that is not related to school. Instead, you can encourage your child to play outside or get involved in extracurricular activities in school.
  6. Encourage your child to drink water instead of sugary drinks like soft drinks and juices.

Helping your child find his or her path to a healthy lifestyle involves the whole family. With time and effort, you will see that your child will be equipped to manage his or her own health, despite the difficulties that come their way.

By incorporating Little Lunches into your family routine, you're taking a significant step towards fostering a healthier, happier lifestyle. We believe that with dedication and the right tools, your child can learn to manage their own health and well-being, setting a foundation for a vibrant future. Together, we can make a positive impact on your family's journey to better health.

By Vivian Castillo, MS, RD, CNSC

Jerica M. Berge, Melanie Wall, Tsun-Fang Hsueh, Jayne A. Fulkerson, Nicole Larson, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer. The Protective Role of Family Meals for Youth Obesity: 10-Year Longitudinal Associations. The

Journal of Pediatrics, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.08.030

2 years ago