“Tomorrow’s world is already taking shape in the body and spirit of our children.”
– Kofi Annan
This quote from the seventh United Nations Secretary General (from January 1997 to December 2006) and 2001 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Kofi Annan, reminds us of the critical importance of attending to the needs of children, not only for their own sakes in the here and now (as “beings”), but also as the “becomings” of the future.
While children’s health and development is dependent on a myriad of factors that we mention below, their eating behaviours are fundamental to their health. If we as parents, want to ensure that we have not only healthy kids but smart kids as well, we must pay attention to what is affecting them.
Did you know that the development and long-term health of children, physically, mentally and emotionally, is linked to their nutritional habits from their early life onward?
Parents obviously have a high degree of control over the environments and experiences of their children, partly because children model themselves on their parents’ eating behaviours, lifestyles, eating-related attitudes and habits, and their happiness or dissatisfactions regarding body image. Eating behaviours are thus likely to be established early in life and may be maintained into adulthood with little thought given to their long-term effects.
So what can parents do to ensure their child gets the best start in life?