Eating Better: For You, and for Your Family

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Three easy ways to a healthier lifestyle

Child obesity is on the rise in the UAE, with fifteen percent of young people predicted to be classified as obese within less than a decade. That’s one in every seven children across the country. Whilst a task force has been set up to deal with the national crisis, there are plenty of ways to deal with the issue at home yourself before such drastic measures are needed. Whether you’re a parent or a young person yourself, here are three things you can do to ensure a healthier lifestyle as soon as possible.

Fresh Ingredients, Fresh Food

It all starts in your own kitchen, and with food you put on the table. Outside of special occasions, a regular diet should consist of breakfast, lunch and dinner with healthy snacks in between to keep you sated if you need them. What’s more important than when you eat however, is what you eat and how much. Fruit, vegetables, lean meat and fibrous carbs are all good choices. Contrastingly, fatty, sugary foods should be enjoyed in moderation. Take a look at your weekly shopping list, and see exactly what is going into your family’s bodies. Could certain things be cut out? Could others be added? Fruit and oatmeal instead of sugary breakfast cereal, for example. A granola bar instead of a candy bar. Begin with the little things, and work your way upwards toward a varied and balanced diet.

Takeout – the Healthy Way

If you’re not much of a chef, or simply prefer to eat on the go, worry not. Takeout has gotten healthier over the years, with plenty of options and choices to be made. has vegetarian options with great flavour that doesn’t have to come at the price of unhealthy ingredients. The important thing here is portion control: even if the food is good for you, excessive servings will quickly add up. Be conscious of how much is on your plate and how much you really need to sate that appetite. Children, especially those not yet in their teens, need much less than adults. Adjust their plate accordingly.

Cola, Soda and Saying No to Sugar

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Perhaps one of the simplest and easiest ways of reducing your family’s calorie intake and increasing their health is to cut out soda. This stuff is pure sugar with very little nutritional value. Whilst it might be your kids’ favourite in terms of taste, it’s certainly not doing them, their stomach or their teeth any favours. Try diet brands, fruit juices, or, best of all, just plain mineral water. Don’t dilute the flavour of your meal with fizz and artificial flavourings. It’s not worth it. If soda really must stay on the menu, cut down as much as you can, and limit yourself to a set amount a day. The best way to teach the next generation healthy habits and lifestyle routines is to lead by example.

So there we have it. A busy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean bad food for you and your family. The small changes add up. So start basic, with regular and conscious choices, and you’ll be building healthy habits for you and your children in no time.

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