We promote food environments that facilitate the discovery of a balanced, varying, complete, and an appropriate diet. Encouraging shopping, cooking, and meals to be pleasant times and among family will help children follow a healthy diet.
According to the Sociedad Española de Pediatría Extrahospitalaria y Atención primaria, 71% of children eat in front of a screen, which gives rise to the possibility of obesity. In agreement with this study, eight out of ten children (82.8%) do not eat a proper breakfast and only one out of ten eat a fruit with the first meal of the day. These facts continue into adulthood: About 25% of the Spanish population over 15 years old do not consume a fruit or vegetable daily, according to a 2017 study done by Eurostat. Keep in mind that the first five years of life are key for formatting habits that will develop in the future.
8 out of 10 children (82.8%) do not eat a proper breakfast.
Here at the Gasol Foundation, we work under the assumption that a “healthy life” does not only correspond to daily physical activity, and promotes emotional well-being without including the dedication to a healthy, balanced, and varied diet. We treat everything under the guise that healthy habits form part of the Healthy Galaxy: Within the galaxy we have 4 planets, one for every component (physical activity and sports, healthy eating, rest, and emotional well-being) with all interacting in harmony, dependent upon the state of the other three planets.
Throughout the entirety of human history, people have concerned themselves with finding a healthy diet. Practicing a healthy diet helps to prevent malnutrition in all forms, such as different untransmittable diseases, with childhood obesity amongst them. However, the rise in the production of processed foods, rapid urbanization, and a change in lifestyle have all given rise to a change in eating habits. Now people consume more hypercaloric foods, saturated fats, trans fats, unnecessary sugars and more sodium; further, there are many children who do not eat enough fruits, vegetables, and fiber.
Traditionally, there is a lot of emphasis placed on dietary and nutritional aspects of food contents in children’s diets, such as the quantity of portions or the recommended time of eating. From the Gasol Foundation we want to amplify these recommendations while recognizing that nutritional objectives for children and youth are not attainable without taking into account aspects relating to conduct and individual families’ habits. Furthermore, we have to take into account the exact composition of a healthy diet, balance and variety depending on the needs of each individual, the cultural context, the food locally available, and the eating habits of the local community. Having to take into account this background, we continue to present recommendations in order to promote healthy eating habits during youth and adolescence.
The Healthy Plate: The Healthy Plate created by the Gasol Foundation is a graphic image that aims to outline a structure of healthy foods that families can follow. The plate represents the different food groups that should not be left out of any meal, alongside providing proper portion sizes. Presenting this plate provides a simple approach for creating menus for children and the rest of the family, contributing to a more complete and balanced diet.
Hydration, the best drink is water!: Staying hydrated is fundamental during all stages of life. Water should be the drink of excellence. It is important to avoid or limit the amount of sugary drinks consumed like soda and processed juices. Also, it is important that children have direct access to potable water, with the proper amount of water being a minimum of 8 cups a day, reminding them of the importance of always drinking water. When children are playing sports or participating in moderate physical activity, it is recommended that they drink more water and do so every 20 minutes.
Family meals: Eating as a family while sharing conversation and turning the screens off favors a more leisurely pace. It also provides an educational opportunity to address worries and show interest in the routines of family members, promoting cohesion and reducing stress within the family, all while increasing the probability of assuring a healthy diet and reducing the risk of childhood obesity.
Grocery shopping weekly and cooking healthy food: To involve boys, girls, and youth in the grocery shopping process makes children care about and concern themselves with the types of food they are eating and it creates a positive attitude towards consuming food. In the same manner, keeping the young people around and having them assist with the cooking process can lead to the removal of certain barriers to the consumption of certain foods, simply because they will feel obligated to try the food that they were in charge of creating.
Pau and Marc Gasol, through the Gasol Foundation, promote that boys, girls, youth, and their families learn to enjoy a healthy eating diet and include it in their daily routines in order to guarantee an optimal state of health in their present and in their future.