Keeping it real. This is by far one of the simplest yet consistently ignored mottos when it comes to food.
It is also one of my favourite healthy sayings because when you keep it real, you keep it true, genuine, authentic and alive!
You eat food, not food-like products or ingredients. You eat as nature provides, not as society dictates.
When you keep it real, you give yourself and your family the best chance to be healthy and happy.
Plus, you wouldn’t want to keep it fake now, would you? 😉
With all the different (and sometimes confusing) dietary advice out there, you can be sure that the experts agree on this – to eat real food.
So if we as a collective are not all down with eating real food, what are we actually eating?
As a population, including our children and young people, we eat more preservative and additive packed, low-nutrient food and drink than any other time in history!
In the pursuit of convenience and disposability we are increasingly consuming foods with chemical additives (preservatives, colours, flavours, and flavour enhancers), genetically modified foods, and highly processed foods that have lost much nutritional value, and we are using more and more product packaging, which has a big environmental impact.
We have actually steered far away from real food. Nowadays, foods are advertised and marketed to us – packaging and taste can be designed to appeal to and even addict us… and our kids.
And what impact does all this fake food have on our health?
Behavioural issues and mood disorders to obesity and gastrointestinal disturbances. Fake, junk foods play a part in all of these conditions, and these are just the tip of the iceberg.
That is why I recommend reading food package labels and not to eat anything with ingredients you can’t pronounce or that you have no idea what it is! Stick to simple, real foods that will nourish your body.
Even kids can get involved with reading labels and being a food detective.
And if they’re not quite old enough for that, your kids are never too young to start modelling your healthy behaviours. (Remember, it’s important to look after yourself!)
So in order to help your family keep it real, try your best to consistently provide your kids with a range of nutritious, tasty, easily accessible real food options.
Talking to your kids about food also helps – what they like to eat and why, as well as talking to them about your own food preferences and how these foods benefit you (how they make you feel e.g. energy, mood, strength etc.).
By avoiding unrecognisable foodstuffs and increasing exposure to real nature-given foods, you will be well on your way to keeping it real!