Archive for the ‘Kids food tips’ Category
I know you are busy. I know the family, work, school juggle and how as parents we are constantly looking for what is easy, quicker, cheaper and more efficient. But I reckon it is a good idea to momentarily pause as you race round the supermarket…
Various studies say around 70% of food eaten by your kids is what you give them – more if they are younger, less if they are older. So some simple changes that you make can have a huge flow on effect.
Much of what we do is automatic, we don’t even realize the cumulative implications. By being aware of a few potential trouble spots can make you hesitate long enough to make a difference.
Scan through this list and see what resonates with you.
- As you are about to load that big pack of cookies into your trolley, look for a smaller pack. (This is contrary to budgeting advice as bulk packs are generally cheaper – but remember a bulk pack in your pantry requires discipline to slow the eating… if it’s not there they, or you, can’t eat it.)
Have your kids got the discipline not to finish a big bag of cookies once it is opened? In most cases a mega bag and a standard bag will get eaten at exactly the same rate.
- Before you automatically take three bags of crisps because they are ‘on deal’ stop and ask the questions – Do I need it? Do I want this much in my pantry?
Just because it is on deal to buy three doesn’t mean you need three bags. Resist the temptation to be a marketer’s puppet! Buy what you need.
- Think carefully before you buy mini-cookies. This might backfire if it means that your kids eat handfuls of them. You might be best to buy standard size and stick to your guns that one or two is enough. Similarly single serve packs of crisps are excellent if they only eat one pack at a time.
Mini-muffins in theory are a great idea – you satisfy a sweet craving and eat a smaller portion. By the time the children are teens though, a single of mini-muffin doesn’t even touch the sides. Before you know it they have scoffed three or four. Better to stick to standard size and the odds of them being satisfied after one are higher. Jumbo-muffins or cookies should be avoided like the plague!
- ‘Accidentally-on-purpose’ run out of foods you want your kids to cut back on.
Simple if you want your kids to eat less biscuits – buy less of them. It’s okay – really it is! So this week buy two packets instead of three.
- Think seriously before loading sugar-laden drinks into your trolley.
If it is an easier sell to your kids, tell them you are buying less sugar-laden drinks to save money. Harder to argue over than the nutrition angle and result is the same – especially if you are saving for something that they want. Water is both cheaper and better.
- You have two packets of crackers in your hand and can’t decide which brand to buy – a few seconds looking at the label can help you decide which is a better choice. Ingredients to compare are fat and sodium – the lowest of each is best.
Lots of small changes make a big change.
I’m in Greece. Today I have climbed the Acropylis been absorbed in the amazing history and extraordinary architectural skills of the Greeks, the ravaging by the Turks, the battles with Persians, the plundering by the Scots, the occupation of the Nazis – to mention but a few. The horrific battles these people have endured..
And then I sat in a cafe in what has become the country with the worst childhood overweight, obesity statistics in the world. 50 % of kids here are officially classified in either of the ‘O” groups. The first school group of kids, about 6 years old, to walk past us looked okay, until the stragglers followed through with the teachers - mmm – the bigger kids at the back – mmm about 25% I guessed. Then two other groups came past around 16 and 13 years old respectively, and then it hit me… I saw for myself what the statistics revealed – every second kid was too big.
At the same time as the last of the second group straggled past, it was 36oC and they were really puffing – and carrying the extra weight their puff was more pronounced than the front of the group, our meal was delivered. Our second day and our second meal to totally over deliver. The plates groaning with overload. My mind flew into a calorific calculation, assessment against the plate model, the traffic lights and the outdated pyramid model ( yes, I am in Greece historical models are okay here) but with every model this meal before me totally violated the rules or guidelines. From the menu the food looked great, but the portion size of each meal was excessive.
My first reaction was, “take half of this away and all will be fine”, or to lean to the table next to us and tell them to come share with us. Two weeks of this and I will shunt into the 50% ‘O’ category. My son’s eyes lit up, this was what he would call a ‘pig out’ for the second day in a row.
This nation is at battle, no – it’s not the Turks or the Romans this time, it is the waiter with the charming smile and hospitable gestures. This enemy is so friendly you do not even know he is your enemy. Portion distortion at its worst. Couple this with extreme heat and your desire to sit rather than move and it is no wonder the ‘O’ battle is raging.
As a spectator, it is hard to know who are tourists and who are locals – but no matter who they are, the adults walking past are equally plagued by the ‘O’ epidemic. Protruding bellies and and overweight waddles inflict more than one third of the adults meandering past. It seems the exception rather than the rule to see someone who looks fit and healthy.
The outcome of this battle is not instant death, and you can’t just whip out and win with an overnight surprise invasion, history shows the sword can solve lots of things especially if you are the one wielding it …
This battle is a slow one, inflicting slow pain with a slow arduous path to return to glory. This battle is only going to be won with will power, education, parent support, kids who are food savvy who know how much and how often to eat …
I say slow, but in Greek terms this battle is faster than many they have known. In a land where it can take up to 700 years to build a building, the obesity battle of the past 15 – 20 odd years is nothing. I just hope for their sake they can turn it around…
The rest of the world is watching Greece, not only their dire financial situation, but as our health statistics march quickly behind theirs – any lessons we can learn will be welcome …
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