The Mediterranean diet is centered around simplicity, moderation, and balance. This nutrient-rich diet is about enjoying delicious, healthy food with family and friends. It’s a family diet and kids love it!
MEDITERRANEAN DIET FOR KIDS
Different studies show that people who follow the Mediterranean regime have better cardio health. And not only! Med Diet can also help you: live a longer and healthier life, prevent Asthma, fight certain Cancers, safeguard from Alzheimer’s disease, protect from Diabetes, Lose weight and keep fit, and so forth.
But… Is Med Diet good for kids, too? Various studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet for kids might be associated with a reduced risk for obesity, asthma, and allergies. If you incorporate some of the listed principals and tips into your child’s diet they will thank you when they are older.
HOW TO GET YOUR CHILD TO EAT “MEDITERRANEAN”?
– In order to get your child use to eat the Mediterranean, you should slowly introduce different fruits and veggies, presenting them consistently with the other foods your child eat.
– Cutting out sugars and fast food meals are important.
– Regular meals and healthy snacks are helpful.
– Sitting to eat with children is also a great way to introduce a Mediterranean diet.
– Letting children participate in meal preparing or grocery shopping is another excellent way.
– Always ask your children to taste the food and don’t give up too soon.
The Mediterranean diet is beneficial generally, but specifically for children, it is associated with better cognitive ability and reading skills. Introducing your child should start at an early age. After the first year, your child can eat almost everything you’re eating. By introducing new flavors early on, your child becomes accustomed to a Mediterranean style of eating.
Here are some useful tips I’d like to share with you to help you achieve this awesome goal – to teach your kid how to eat healthily & “Med Style”:
Add a bit of olive oil to your child’s food.
Do not serve meat every day.
Introduce various healthy soups to your child, especially: lentil, beef, chicken and tomato soup.
Introduce a goat or sheep milk & other dairy products (yogurt, soft cheeses…)
Use fresh tomato in different dishes.
Start using some herbs early on. Add herbs, but, less than you usually do, when cooking only for adults.
Introduce fish to your child!
MEDITERRANEAN DIET FOR KIDS – WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE MEDITERRANEAN APPROACH?
The researchers think that the high fiber content and healthy fats found in foods like nuts, avocados, olive oil, and produce may help prevent kids from overeating. Fish, whole grains, veggies — these probably aren’t your kids’ favorite foods, but…It worth your time to work on it. There are high kids obesity rates in many countries in the world. Plus, since obesity rates increase as kids get older, it’s worth getting on the right track before their teen years.
WHAT DO HEALTH STATISTICS SAY?
The World Health Organization (WHO) paints an alarming picture of the true state of the Med Diet. According to the study that involved 40 countries (in a period 2015 – 2017) figures regarding obesity in children showed unacceptably high levels! And what surprises even more… the Mediterranean countries which gave their name to the famous diet, and supposed to be the healthiest in the world, have children with Europe’s biggest weight problem (!)
In Cyprus (for example), a phenomenal 43% of boys and girls aged nine are either overweight or obese. Greece, Spain, and Italy have very high rates, too (around 40%). Southern Europe children eat only a few fruit and vegetables. They snack, eat sweets, consume too much salt, sugar, drink a lot of cola and other sugary beverages. And they hardly move…
On the other hand, in France, Norway, Ireland, Latvia, and Denmark obesity is very low – from 5% to 9%. In Sweden, children are more likely to eat fish, olive oil and tomatoes. Based on mentioned facts, we come to following conclusions: a/ kids who are the closest to the Mediterranean diet nowadays – are the Swedish kids, b/ there’s a huge child obesity problem in too many European and other countries around the world!
Luckily, the good news is that the Mediterranean countries are addressing the problem and having some success in bringing their childhood obesity rates down. But, it isn’t only different governments problem. Parents (the family) play the most important role in raising healthy and happy children!