It’s no secret that healthy eating leads to a physically healthier life. Eating healthy can be a challenge for many people due to various circumstances, such as self-esteem issues, body dysmorphia, and more. However, there is a sweet spot in healthy eating. A balance of good food and exercise can help your daughter, not just physically but emotionally and mentally as well. Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we aim to get her there.
What a Healthy Diet Must Compete With in Today’s World
Go into any number of middle or high school lunchrooms in America these days, and we can almost guarantee you will see one constant: vending machines. While foods offered in vending machines are good in moderation, allowing children to make up lunches of snacks can be detrimental to their health.
Your daughter is already saturated with a constant barrage of advertisements that aim to prey on her lack of knowledge regarding healthy food habits. This lack of knowledge is not her fault. Like anything, food knowledge comes with time and experience. Unfortunately, this toxic food culture is inhibiting that healthy development.
When your daughter turns on the television, what is she most likely to see? We are bombarded with commercials that promote an unhealthy fast-food culture. When your daughter logs into Facebook or Instagram, what is she most likely to see? Unrealistic depictions of “celebrities” selling products they don’t use and showing doctored photos of unattainable, unhealthy body “standards.”
These are the types of dangers and distractions your daughter is up against daily. It is no wonder that she may be confused about what constitutes a healthy diet. Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we want to help erase that confusion.
The Importance of a Healthy Diet
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “Just one super-sized, fast food meal may have more calories than you need in a whole day.” However, it seems like the only advertisements we see are for Mcdonald’s or Burger King.
Did you know that gut health has been shown to positively influence our mental health? It’s true. A low-sugar diet that focuses on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables along with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can quite literally boost the way we psychologically function.
Unlike the marketing buzzwords like “low-fat” and “heart healthy” that you often see on packaged processed foods, the term “brain food” has some actual truth to it. Dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes such as beans and lentils, in particular, are all excellent brain foods. That is why Clearview offers its students a salad bar at all times on location at our ranch.
A study in the International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health discovered that “[H]ealth-related behaviors such as poor diet quality, physical inactivity, and decreased sleep, and the resulting increased cardiometabolic risk factors, overweight, and obesity, have been related to impaired cognition in children and adolescents.” This study tells us that a poor diet affects how your child acts and thinks. To us, this is astonishingly troubling information. However, it is also information that we can utilize for your daughter’s well-rounded recovery.
Now that we know that food can quite literally transform the adolescent brain negatively, the question is, what do we do about it? The good news is that the same study we mentioned also had this to say, “[T]hese health-related behaviors are recognized as modifiable risk factors.” The key word is “modifiable.” Healthy eating can change your child’s cognitive trajectory back in a positive direction. That is the type of information we use to help your child grow into the woman she was always meant to be.
Encouraging Healthy Eating at Home
Your daughter doesn’t have to eat foods like quinoa to eat a balanced diet that promotes brain health. Instead, you can encourage healthy behaviors in the home to aid in the development of a healthy lifestyle.
- Offer all food groups: When you consistently offer all types of food at meals, your child is more likely to try something out of their comfort zone eventually. When preparing meals for the family, serve fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.
- Encourage breakfast: Breakfast is a meal many people skip, especially teenagers. However, eating in the morning helps concentration later in the day. This can help enhance school performance.
- Model healthy eating habits: Your child is less likely to eat healthy foods if they see that you do not eat healthy foods. To encourage healthy eating habits, make sure you are eating the same types of foods you want your daughter to eat.
Creating a Foundation for a Healthy Lifestyle
Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we take your daughter’s well-being seriously. Their health and safety are our number one priority. That is why we want to teach them how to take care of themselves in every facet of their lives.
We are often amazed at the lack of attention some places put on health and nutrition. Think about this for a moment. We can help someone recover from substance use disorder (SUD). One of the keys to recovery from SUD is abstaining from that substance.
However, you can’t do that with food. We cannot cure someone’s unhealthy eating habits by teaching them not to eat. It just doesn’t work that way. At Clearview Girls Academy, we believe that food can be fun, exciting, fulfilling, delicious, as well as nutritious.
At the end of the day, we want your daughter to return home to you, the fully realized and self-confident person that you know she can be. We believe that a healthy diet is pivotal to that outcome. We want your daughter to love herself, and we think that includes her loving what she eats.
Healthy eating has long been associated with healthy living. There is a reason for that. What many people are unaware of is that healthy eating can actually aid in adolescents’ brain development. That is why we like to integrate a habit of healthy eating into our overall program of recovery. We aim to teach our students not just how to eat healthy while in recovery but also how to maintain healthy eating habits in the future. We believe in teaching life skills at Clearview Girls Academy, and a regimen of proper diet and exercise is part of that. For more information on our program, call Clearview Girls Academy at (888) 796-5484.