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More Health Happiness with Fruits and Vegetables

More Health Happiness with Fruits and Vegetables

Think of it as two for one!

 

Parenting requires many hats.  One minute you are the chauffer, waiting in the pick up line at school, the next you are the teacher helping with homework or the chef putting dinner on the table; and it doesn’t end there!  You juggle schedules, fold laundry, pick up groceries and meal plan, the list goes on and on. It’s certainly a full plate, but love and concern for a child’s health and happiness are strong motivations most parents share.    

New research suggests there is one thing to keep top of mind when aiming for health and happiness in children – fruits and vegetables.  Think of it as a two-for-one deal. 😉  We already know that fruits and vegetables are part of a wholesome diet that helps children maintain a healthy weight and avoid chronic diseases in adulthood, but you may not know that eating well can also play a role in overall mental wellness too!  In the UK, where this study took place, 50% of mental health disorders emerge before the age of 14.

The study published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health reviewed nutrition and wellbeing data from over 8,500 elementary and high school students.  They were able to make several observations, including that elementary and high school students were both observed to have better wellbeing scores with traditional lunch and breakfast meals (cereal, toast, yogurt, fruit) than those who did not eat any.  Their wellbeing also faired higher than those who had an energy drink or snack bar.  Meaning, the type of meal and balance between food groups is important to focus on! 

They also found that high school students who consumed five or more combined fruit and vegetable servings were significantly happier than those who did not. These high fruit and veggie eaters also had higher wellbeing scores than those who ate three or four servings, who had higher scores than those who ate one or two servings – in plain terms, more is better! 

Need a balanced meal idea?  Try our Breaded Salmon Nuggets with Spinach Cashew Dip.  You’ll get a one two punch of magnesium and folate from spinach which have been associated with lower risk of depression.  You’ll also get the benefit of Omega 3’s in salmon which have been used in treating depression and are helpful in reducing inflammation in the body! 

 

Published November 1, 2021

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