Friday, 25 May 2012

Good food education could reduce the need for childhood slimming

There are a lot of pressures on parents today. Society is much more consumer-based than it has been in any previous generation, and sensible parenting is a challenge at the best of times. The availability of leisure activities, including play stations, DVDs, computer games and other indoor toys means that children can entertain themselves without leaving the house. Worries about child safety, combined with fitting activities into a busy schedule result in more children travelling by car.
Are children also eating less well? Twenty years ago, we didn't have a lot of the research we have today on which foods to eat and how they react inside your body, so it's possible that the kids of the 1970s and 1980s who drank lots of fizzy drinks, ate largely white bread and processed food such as fish fingers, were no better off nutritionally than children are today. Parents are bombarded with messages from both sides; information in doctors' surgeries and in newspapers and magazines warns of the dangers of a bad diet, and gives nutritional advice whilst television adverts and food promotions encourage children to pester their parents for foods that aren't good for them.
To combat this problem, you need to be a strong-willed parent, who can educate their child about nutrition whilst preparing healthy balanced meals. This is a lot more difficult than it sounds, particularly where both parents are working, mealtimes are rushed or not taken together at all, and a meal at a fast food restaurant is a treat. Children do learn about food that's good for them when they're at school, but they need this to be balanced by seeing it in practice at home.
Here are some tips for easy food education:
- Make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast to give them energy for the day ahead
- Make sure there is plenty of fruit and healthy snacks in the house. Don't buy crisps and biscuits
- Encourage your child to help with meal preparation so that they learn how to cook healthily
- If your child has packed lunches, make sure they are healthy, and full of foods they can enjoy
- Don't bribe your child with sweets or chocolate. Use different things for treats, such as a play at the park
There are lots of resources available to help you give your child a healthy eating plan and good eating habits. If they take these onto adult life, there will be no need for them to worry about slimming when they're older.

No comments:

Post a Comment