In 2017, the book called “Secrets of the World's Healthiest Children” was published, written by Naomi Moriyama and William Doyle. It describes in detail the things that Naomi learned during her growing up in the Land of the Rising Sun. In addition, according to studies, Japan has the lowest percentage of people suffering from obesity or diabetes. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We do have something to learn from the inhabitants of this mysterious country. Especially in terms of health – of both adults and their children. Let's look at the 7 principles that Japanese parents use to raise their children and make them healthy and happy.
Cook home-made food for children
The basis of the Japanese diet consists of whole-grain products, legumes, vegetables, seafood. With the diversity of the latter in most parts of in most European countries and states in the US, it can be difficult. But still, most of us still have access to lots of lean meat, poultry, fish.
Lifehack: reduce the amount of sugar and salt in food. All the necessary elements are already contained in the products. Therefore, additional salt is practically useless.
Focus on diversity, not high prices.
It is not elite-level products that are useful to a person, but rather foods rich in nutrients. The Japanese have learned to diversify their diets, they eat about 100 different foods a week. Basically, these are vegetables, fruits, legumes, and cereals.
Lifehack: use short grain rice in your dishes. In the process of cooking, it is saturated with water, acquires a larger volume. Therefore, the number of calories per serving is reduced.
Find new things, bring diversity into your kitchen
Most of all, children love harmful dishes (like pizza and ice cream). Least of all - vegetables. But you can fix it. You should gradually add more and more healthy foods in your diet. Lead by example, as they say
The main thing is not to be intrusive and not to force a child to eat them. Better focus on the curiosity of a child. In the end, it will prevail.
Reduce portion size
Replace large plates with smaller dishes. Visually, a portion will seem larger, so the chances of eating too much are reduced. Japanese parents recommend allowing children to take food themselves so that they get used to eating from small dishes.
Eat and cook with the whole family
Leading by example is the best method of education. Try to organize a family dinner with homemade food at least once a week. Involve children in the cooking process. This is a useful skill. It will turn out to be quite useful in the future. It is also quite a pleasant family tradition that unites generations.
In addition, a person who knows how to cook and loves it is less likely to pay attention to fast food.
Don’t forget about the workout.
Japanese schoolchildren go to school every day and go back on foot. In any weather. This is incredibly useful. Walking is one of the simplest and most effective types of cardiac exercise that is available to all of us.
Encourage children to get to school on foot, not by transport. Go for a walk in the evenings. It does not require additional investments, it improves muscle tone and metabolism.
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Be democratic, if you will. This is a strategic approach to discipline. You set the rules, but do not ignore the questions and needs of the children. There is a dialogue between the parent and the child, but the eldest leads the way.