Based on the results of a worldwide health study that was published in The Lancet, Japan came out on top as not only having the healthiest population, but also have kids who are the healthiest in the world.
The life expectancy in Japan is well beyond 80 years, and most of the population don’t suffer from any major illness until they’re in their 70’s.
That’s why for families who are looking to improve their lifestyle and become healthier, learning the health secrets of the Japanese is a pretty good idea. Here are some secrets of why the Japanese are the healthiest in the world!
1. Rice is key
Yup, you read that right. Just like most Asian countries, rice is a staple food in Japan, and it’s one of the reasons why they’re so healthy.
Rice has fewer calories than bread and other carbs and makes you feel fuller in comparison. Pair it with healthy and fresh vegetables, and you have a healthy meal. The Japanese also use less preservatives and eat a lot more fish compared to other meats like pork, chicken, and beef.
Of course, it’s still important to limit the portions that your family eats. Eating too much of any food, even healthy food, can cause your kids to become unhealthy.
2. Make eating more enjoyable
Parents should encourage their child to enjoy eating, and not to think of it as a chore, or something that they’re forced to do. This will help children learn good eating habits as well as helps bring the family closer together.
It’s also okay to give your child some snacks every so often, but make sure to only give small portions.
3. Expose them to a wide variety of foods
Children can sometimes be very picky, but they can also be very curious when it comes to trying out new foods. The key to making your child eat healthily is to expose them to a wide variety of healthy foods early on.
There’s even a Japanese saying that goes “a new food prolongs one’s life,” so being open to trying out new dishes and foods can help make your child healthier.
4. Try serving Japanese-style portions
If you look at the food served at fastfood restaurants these days, the portions tend to be bigger, and most of them encourage their diners to “upsize” their meals, which some people think is a great value, but in reality, it only causes them to overeat.
Japanese-style portions are smaller, and are served on smaller plates. This makes it easier for people, especially children, to manage their portions better since they can easily gauge how much food they need to eat so they can be full.
5. Be active!
It’s important to establish a focus on physical activity and exercise at a young age so that keeping active and fit becomes second nature to your kids.
Most children in Japan walk or bike to school instead of being driven or commuting on the train or bus. It’s a good habit to pick up, especially if your child’s school isn’t that far from your home.
6. Let your kids help with food preparation
In Japanese culture, the family is an important part of mealtime, even during food preparation. Involving your children during the entire meal preparation process helps them learn more about eating healthy, and lets them know what exactly goes into the food that they eat.
If your kids are aware of how their food is prepared, they’ll be more inclined to eat the food that you serve, especially if you’re always preparing healthy food. It will also teach them responsibility as well as cooking, which is an important life skill.
READ: 10 Healthy finger foods that your baby will love