Food for Wellbeing

IGS parents and caregivers learnt valuable tips for nourishing minds, bodies and spirits at a recent IGS Community Learning Program (CLP) workshop.

The workshop featured presentations by IGS Psychologist Dr Tamara Kezelman, and Instructor of the Mad Food Science Program Karen Wong. 

Tamara shared a message around the importance of making time for family meals, which promotes better and more mindful eating habits related to improving portion sizes, eating healthier foods and eating a wider variety of foods. However, perhaps the most important aspects of family meals are those related to the interpersonal benefits. Family meals have been shown to promote better relationships amongst family members, a reduction in mental health difficulties later in life and even better grades in school!

Tamara also recommended parents avoid using food as a reward or punishment where possible, model a positive relationship with food and promote healthy body image.  

However, perhaps the most important aspects of family meals are those related to the interpersonal benefits. Family meals have been shown to promote better relationships amongst family members, a reduction in mental health difficulties later in life and even better grades in school!

For those unable to attend, Karen kindly shared the following tips: 

1. Being “well” is not as complex as we might think. Choosing to be the most favourable version of yourself is the first step. We can do this by first focusing on our own life purpose. Is it something I can describe? Is it something I value? Does it make me feel worthwhile?

2. Being well also means building and sharing (with our kids) important life skills – none more important than how we nourish ourselves – our bodies, minds and spirits.

3. Listening to our bodies and understanding the signals it sends us is an important skill in nourishing ourselves well. This might mean identifying food intolerances and getting to the bottom of lifelong issues that impact our digestive systems, behaviours and energy levels!

IGS Food for Wellbeing workshop
IGS Food for Wellbeing presenter Karen Wong

4. Our kids need us to model key health ideas too, such as recognising we have one body for life, knowing WHY we eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables each day, and learning how to read packet labels so we understand “what’s in my food?” empowering us to maintain our own wellbeing. Visit www.therootcause.com for further details.

5. “Wellbeing” also means nourishing our minds and spirits: choosing nourishing information to feed our brains, whether it be from books, the internet or TV. Our wellbeing also relies on having a spirit that is not overwhelmed by a punishing schedule, especially the young people in our families, whose minds and spirits need some freedom in their day to grow.