A Balanced Diet: The Beginning of Health

Health is a huge topic of discussion in our society today.  There’s always some new product to help you lose weight, keep you looking younger, make your life better.  However, most products can’t compare to the simplicity of making healthy choices.

Starting with Adventure Club and Pathfinders, many Adventist youth are introduced to the idea of NEWSTART.  NEWSTART is an acronym which stands for:

N - Nutrition
E - Exercise
W - Water
S - Sunlight
T - Temperance
A - Air
R - Rest
T – Trust in God[1]

These principles, when implemented together, can help to create a healthier, happier person.

As you can see, the first item in the NEWSTART acronym is Nutrition.  In a recent study (Cincala, 2014) conducted by the Institute for Church Ministry, Adventist young people were asked about their eating habits.  Sixty four percent of youth said that their eating habits were “extremely healthy” or “healthy.”  However, the most of the remaining respondents (30%) admitted that their eating habits were “probably” or “definitely” not healthy.

If we are able to help instill healthy eating habits in our youth while they are still young, we are setting them up for a lifetime of better health.

The USDA has created a list of great ideas to help make healthy eating easier:

  • Make at least half your grains whole grains.
  • Vary your veggies.
  • Focus on fruit.
  • Get your calcium-rich foods.
  • Go lean with protein.[2]

Another important aspect of teaching our young people to eat in a healthy manner is by setting a healthy example.  It’s easy to say, “Be sure to eat your veggies,” while at the same time, we ourselves load up on processed fast foods. This inconsistency does not go unnoticed, though.  We must demonstrate the behaviors which we would like to see our young people put into practice.

A healthy diet is just the beginning of good health - but it seems to be one of the hardest things to do!  However, if simple lifestyle choices can set our young people up to “win,” it’s definitely a goal for us all to work towards!


[1] For more information on NEWSTART, check out newstart.com.

[2] Healthy Eating Tips. Retrieved March 18, 2015, from www.choosemyplate.gov/healthy-eating-tips.html