Thursday, 31 January 2008

You are what you eat or are you?

Secrets of … the Mediterranean Diet
A recent study has once again confirmed that people who closely follow ‘the Mediterranean Diet’ live longer than other Europeans. So what exactly is the Mediterranean diet and how does it exert this spectacular effect.
The Mediterranean diet is not a specific diet plan or diet program but a collection of eating habits that are traditionally followed by the people of the Mediterranean region. There are at least 16 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and food habits vary between these countries according to culture, ethnic background and religion. But there are a number of characteristics common to them all…
A high consumption of fruits, vegetables, potatoes, beans, nuts, seeds, bread and other cereals

  • Olive oil used for cooking and dressings

  • Moderate amounts of fish but little meat

  • Low to moderate amounts of full fat cheese and yogurt

  • Moderate consumption of wine, usually with meals

  • Reliance on local, seasonal, fresh produce

  • An active lifestyle

Earlier today I had a conversation with Shelagh Lee, our PT of Behaviour Support. Our discussion centred on what we could do to try and positively influence the diets of some of the youngsters whose behaviour in classrooms can sometimes create difficulties. One particular youngster we spoke about claims he needs a daily 'fix' of iron bru to get him through the day. Breakfast is non-existent; his first nutrition of the day tends to be the best part of a bottle of irn bru. I hasten to add that we stopped selling fizzy drinks at my school some years ago. Shelagh is currently working with this youngster and his family to try and change his diet and high sugar intake. I am keen to further explore how we might do this. Has anyone out there come across a school that has been successful in tackling inappropriate pupil behaviours through the diet route?

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