The Big Fat Issue
I was an eighties child. The era of the power ballet, Fraggle Rock and the birth of convenience food. As a child I grew up on crispy pancakes, alphabet spaghetti, and potato waffles. That was the way we all ate.
As we grew up our lives got busier and busier. We didn’t have time to cook,… and as a nation we got fat. Its not exactly anyone’s fault, its just society… but there is a “big fat issue” out there… some of our children, are getting fatter than their parents.. and its not by choice.
- Convenience Food. We don’t know what we are eating with convenience foods? Okay I’m not going to be preachy, once in a while a frozen pizza isn’t going to kill anyone. When its every night, that’s the problem. Our kiddies are starting the day with sugar filled cereal and ending it with fish fingers and chips. As parents we are tired, we don’t want to fight over “ what’s for tea” in the evening. We just don’t have the energy. Trying to break the habit bit by bit that’s the key . Maybe just use a free rainy Saturday (we have plenty in Ireland) get the kids involved and cook in bulk. Find easy healthy recipes and freeze, for the week. This is much cheaper than convenience food too.
- Marketing and Advertising. Okay I’ve been guilty myself of buying a packet of Peppa Pig crisps. Moderation is fundamental here. Our children know all the big brands and logos on food products. But some of them don’t know the names of everyday fruit and vegetables. They are bombarded with logos and advertising everywhere they look. Have a talk about “junk” food and Real food. We have to help children make better choices by giving them nutritional information on their food.
- Treats! When kids are having treat every day its not a treat… it’s just food. We’ve all fallen into the trap of using goodies as rewards. Use your time as a reward. That’s the most valuable thing a child can have.
- Exercise. We drive our children every where. Especially in “sunny” Ireland we use the weather as an excuse why we can’t get out and walk any where. A wise man once said there is no such thing as bad weather- just the wrong clothing! Get some rain gear (all the German supermarkets are selling them) turn off the telly and tablet, get out, get wet, and live a little.
- Sugary Drinks. The myth about fruit juice is we think its healthy (of course it’s healthy it has a picture of a lovely orange on it).Some drinks that are aimed at children can have up to 18 spoons of sugars and around 120 calories. These are just empty calories, they rot teeth and are a major factor in childhood obesity. It’s good practice only to offer fruit juice at meal times and dilute it with water. This limits the sugar intake.
- Education. As parents we are the best teachers in the world. It’s sometimes hard to grab a minute and talk to our children about the importance of good food. About how food is fuel and it makes our body function. Children will want to eat nutritional food, if they know it gives them more energy- believe me.We can’t just assume they will learn this stuff at school. There are so many excellent websites out there. If you don’t know where to even start, the food pyramid is a great place. Enjoy it and make it fun!
- Ready- Steady- Cook! As a society somewhere down the line we stopped cooking. We can blame load of factors on this. And say “well potato waffles didn’t do me any harm” or it was far from asparagus I was reared. Which may be true, but children can’t make their own choices .. that’s our job. Let’s make good ones.
Get messy x have fun x one yummy mummy x