4 keys to good eating habits from a very young age

When we choose the contents of Baby’s plate, we think about his growth, his weight and his energy. In other words, food is often considered in the short term. And for Professor Valter Longo, it is a mistake. According to him, food not only influences our current health, but also conditions our future. Child malnutrition during and after pregnancy can therefore impact the adult of tomorrow. For example, an early or excessive introduction of sugar and salt during food diversification is in the long term to increase the risk of hypertension, diabetes or obesity. We are what we eat, and we eat what we will be! It is in this sense that this professor biologist has surrounded himself with a team of professionals to put down on paper a program allowingoptimize meals. So that food provides growth, happiness, health, and that Baby reaches 110 years old in peace! Discover 4 key tips offered by this book.

Epidemiology at the service of nutrition

Among the sources cited in Longevity is acquired from childhood, there are many works of epidemiology (the study of health problems in the human population). Indeed, through the prism of this science, the recommendations of health institutions have changed. Thanks to the discoveries made in this field, Santé Publique France has modified certain points of its program for young people in its “Notice relating to the revision of dietary guidelines for the adults of the future”, where in particular proteins of animal origin have been invited to be scaled down. Indeed, too many of them increase diseases and accelerate aging in adults, but also have a negative impact on children. Professor Valter Longo abounds in this direction, by affirming that an early introduction or in too great quantity of proteins of animal origin in the early childhood is associated with a metabolic and hormonal change which would influence pediatric obesity. This is just one of many examples of eating habits that have a direct impact on our current and future health.

A diversified and balanced child’s diet

To predispose his offspring to a long existence, Professor Valter Longo has composed a diet adapted to the problems and requirements of a child in a period of growth. But then, what is this panacea? First of all, he recommends not neglecting any nutrient. Mineral salts, lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, essential fatty acids… We leave no one on the sidelines. Then it’s all a question of dosage. After 4 years, it is recommended to consume 0.9 g of protein per kg of body weight daily. They are drawn both from meat, but also from vegetable sources. The ideal would be to do half and half. For carbohydrates, we limit the “4 Ps”: pasta, bread, pizza, potato. In order to communicate a feeling of satiety to the brain, it is better to have a heavy hand on vegetables and legumes. Finally, we do not stone lipids! If fat may seem to be enemy number 1, it is not. However, it is better to avoid looking for them in saturated fats. Thus, with butter, one favors extra virgin olive oil, in particular. And of course, neither too much salt nor too much sugar.

Eating in a 12-hour time arc

Do you know the practice of intermittent fasting? This is a diet where we divide the day in two: 8 hours are given to eat, and during the remaining 16 hours, no meals or snacks. It has been proven that in adults, at the same number of calories consumed, resting the body reduces the risk of overweight. According to the professor, these positive effects would result from an optimization of the sleep-wake rhythm, which improves our metabolism. Why not apply it with your child? With much more flexibility, of course! Valter Longo thus proposes to distribute the meals in a time arc of 12 hours. If dinner is at 8:30 p.m., breakfast will be at 8:30 a.m. the following day.

Five meals a day

Based on the manual of pediatric nutrition of the Italian Society of Gastroenterology, it is recommended for children to punctuate the day with 4 to 5 meals. Breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, a snack, and finally dinner. And no snacking, that’s good enough! But then, how are these five times articulated? Keep the credo quoted above: diversity and balance. At breakfast, cow’s or goat’s milk or a vegetable drink will accompany rusks or toast with jam or honey. For the morning snack, a fruit or a cereal bar. At tea time, your little one can enjoy a good smoothie, followed by a nut bar or a mix of dried fruits. Then comes lunch, where you have to know how to balance cereals, vegetables, meats and legumes. Finally, dinner arrives. The latter is the main meal since this is where the family meets, and the parent in charge of cooking can take the time to adapt according to what the child has eaten during the day. If, in the canteen, he has not been served legumes, tonight it is lentils!

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