I think what’s needed most regarding healthy nutrition for kids and adults is knowledge and understanding. For instance, when parents and kids truly understand the effects of drinking soda on the body, they ( kids included) won’t want to go near it (soda)with a ten foot pole. Well, some will still drink it, but at least they won’t be ignorant of the harm it’s doing, and may choose to drink a little less of it.
Hang-ups and attitudes surrounding food usually come from a lack of knowledge. Sure, there’s things like “eating for comfort”, but knowledge might give a person a greater range of choices in “comfort foods” that are much healthier than ice cream. There are foods that are very comforting and healthy at the same time. It doesn’t have to be an “either-or” choice.
Regarding worrying about weight issues and counting calories, when a person understands that processed foods generally lead to weight gain and ill health, there’s no need to count calories. I think counting calories is the most ridiculous thing in the world. It’s a good way to create guilt! Why do that?! It’s so much simpler to just eat more whole foods and less processed foods. This will lead to not just a healthy weight, but also a healthier body.
One of the most pervasive attitudes I see surrounding food is that “food is all about pleasure, and who cares about nourishment”? This attitude is clearly reflected in the abundance of people lining up at fast food joints for their super-sized meals that have absolutely no nutritional value. To make matters worse, fast foods are loaded with all kinds of harmful chemicals, hormones, antibiotics and other toxins that can only produce ill health and disease.
In summary, a healthy view of food for both kids and adults is the natural result of gaining knowledge and understanding about how our bodies work, why it gets sick, and what it requires to be healthy. Parents need to first educate themselves about diet and nutrition, and then pass this knowledge on to their kids. Knowledge empowers a person with greater choices, which will inevitably lead to a greater state of health.