A Balanced Diet: The Key to Long-term Health
At ISD we are committed to educating the school community about healthy lifestyles. Eating a balanced diet is undoubtedly the cornerstone of long-term health. Along with staying active and hydrated and sleeping an adequate number of hours, we can reach and maintain optimal health by consuming nutrient-rich food.
The following Healthy Eating Plate published by the Harvard School of Public Health gives us an idea about how to eat a more balanced diet. According to this plate, half of our plates should ideally consist of mainly vegetables and a bit of fruit. The other half of our plates should contain whole grains and healthy protein in equal proportions. It is important to note that whole grains include brown rice and whole-grain bread or pasta, not refined grains like white rice and white bread. Moreover, healthy protein encompasses a range of options for non-vegetarians and vegetarians alike. Legumes/beans, nuts, seeds, milk, yoghurt and cheese are just a few of the options suggested for vegetarians.
The key to eating a well-balanced diet is to select nutrient-dense food over processed, convenient food. Healthy eating will help you get the right balance of vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients. Children as well as adults will see an increase in energy and feel mentally better, not to mention also see a decrease in illnesses. Healthy eating is not a diet! It means making changes that you can live with for the rest of your life. Eating healthily also includes enjoying sometimes foods occasionally though not daily. Treating yourself to a delicious snack or dessert is important for your enjoyment. It also helps to ensure that you will not overeat when you do decide to have a treat.
Please help us to support your child’s healthy growth at home by discussing and practicing healthy eating. Rather than try to make big changes at once, set some easy goals with your children that they can reach such as having a salad and piece of fruit each day. Your children will also benefit greatly from seeing role models in their lives eat a well-balanced diet.
PYP Physical Education Teacher
Committee Member of the Healthy Eating & Living Programme