Friday April 3, 2020

Children Who Are Connected to Nature More Likely to be Happier: Study

Kids who feel connected to nature likely to be happier

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Children happy
Children who feel connected to nature are also more likely to be happier. Pixabay

Dear parents, please take note. Researchers have found that children who feel connected to nature are also more likely to be happier. This is important for a healthy lifestyle.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, showed that connectedness to nature makes kids happier due to their tendency to perform sustainable and pro-ecological behaviours.

“Parents and teachers should promote kids to have more significant contact or exposure to nature, because our results indicate that exposure to nature is related to the connection with it, and in turn, with sustainable behaviours and happiness,” said study researcher Laura Berrera-Hernandez from Sonora Institute of Technology in Mexico.

The researchers stated that a disconnection to nature, termed ‘nature deficit disorder’, may contribute to the destruction of the planet, as the lack of a bond with the natural world is unlikely to result in desire to protect it. For the findings, the research team recruited 296 children between the ages of 9 and 12 from a northwestern Mexican city.

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Connectedness to nature makes children happier due to their tendency to perform sustainable and pro-ecological behaviours. Pixabay

All the participants were given a self-administered scale completed in school to measure their connectedness to nature, sustainable behaviours (pro-ecological behaviour, frugality, altruism, and equity) and happiness.

This included measuring their agreement with statements about their connectedness to nature, such as ‘Humans are part of the natural world’ and statements about their sustainable behaviours, such as ‘I separate empty bottles to recycle’.

The researchers found that in kids, feeling connected to nature had positive associations for sustainability practices and behaviours, and also led to children reporting higher levels of perceived happiness.

This suggests that children who perceive themselves to be more connected to nature tend to perform more sustainable behaviours and therefore also have greater levels of happiness.

Also Read- New Wearable Sensor Can Detect Critical Changes in Heart Failure Patients

Previous research on adults had suggested a relationship between connectedness to nature and the development of pro-environmental behaviours, and the happiness derived from these. Despite the study’s limitations of only testing children from the same city, the results provided insight into the power of positive psychology of sustainability in children. (IANS)

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5 Foods to Add in Your Child’s Diet

Food to include in the diet of growing children

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Here are five foods that should be included in the diet of a growing child. Pixabay

With a young child, meals can be an everyday hassle, especially when you want to introduce new food, and motivate children to make healthy food choices.

Children starting their school years have several nutritional requirements that need to be met, and at the same, are at an age which shapes their lifetime food habits.

“School-going children are still growing and are physically active which plays a significant role in determining a child’s nutritional requirements. Genetic history, gender, body size, and built are various other factors. The nutrients or foods needed by children are the same needed by adults, but the quantities vary,” nutritionist and wellness coach Avni Kaul told IANSlife.

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She adds, “In the growing years, foods that provide protein, calcium, iron, and vitamins are vital for their growth and development. Without them, their growth may get stunted and, in serious cases, it can affect the development of their mental and motor skills. These nutrients are available in major food groups – grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein foods.”

Here are five foods that should be included in the diet of a growing child

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In the growing years, foods that provide protein, calcium, iron, and vitamins are vital for their growth and development. Pixabay

Berries

Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, gooseberries are very high in Vitamin C, antioxidants and phytochemicals. They protect healthy cells from damage and helps in boosting the immune system. You can add them in yogurt, or serve them raw to your children.

Eggs

Eggs are quite popular. Eggs are a great source of protein and vitamins. Eggs are one of the best sources of choline, an important nutrient that supports brain development. You can serve them either as boiled, scrambled, fry or prepare omelettes.

Peanut butter

High in monounsaturated fats, peanut butter provides energy and protein to children. However, certain brands contain added salt, sugar, palm oil and partially hydrogenated fats, which reduces nutritional quality. So, look out for the label carefully.

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Kids should consume more whole-grain foods. Pixabay

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Whole-grain foods

Fibre present in these foods maintains digestive health and prevents constipation. Amaranth, Barley, Maize, Ragi are one of the finest options. If your child is not fond of them then you can give them in the form of biscuits and wholegrain bread.

Also Read- Role of Sleep and Melatonin in Enhancing Your Beauty

Bright-coloured vegetables and fruits

Include carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, cherries, tomatoes and papaya. They are high in beta carotene and other carotenoids that are changed into active vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is vital for good skin and vision, growth and repair of body tissues. (IANS)