My job luckily allows me to deal with nutritional health globally, but I remain passionate about nutrition in Norwich, my home town. I frequently get involved with local health, family and medical groups showcasing cookery demonstrations and talks. These are always nutrition and health focused with a side of positive mental attitude.
I’ve been concerned about the alarming figures reported in the news around childhood obesity over recent weeks; so decided to get out and talk about nutrition in Norwich, starting with a local children’s Sure-start centre. My ambition, to get the word out about how easy it is to feed and educate our children on healthy living and eating.
This week it was all about showcasing colourful vegetables and fruit and how to incorporate them into daily meal planning: making brightly coloured smoothies, letting the children get involved in the planning and preparation of meals and giving everyone a ‘rainbow chart’ to take home.
Latest news on childhood obesity has reported alarming statistics around the world. One in ten, 5 year olds to adulthood are classed as obese. I feel it’s important to say here that I believe we all come in various shapes and sizes, something I really strive to teach my family. I am not a size 8-10 so can say this article is without prejudice and a consideration of what might be driving society and families to weight problems.
The word epidemic is being used a lot and I have some thoughts to share on where I think some of these issues may be coming from. Firstly, food labelling, I see so frequently educated, health conscious parents who still struggle with food labelling, It’s so easy to miss exactly what’s going on in our food this concerns me so much so that I’ve decided to release my guide to food labelling, normally part of one of my online courses ‘how to help your family to live to 100’ so please look out for that soon in an upcoming newsletter.
Secondly, I feel education has so much further to go with children when it comes to food; I’m concerned about the amount of schools and parents who are creating a ‘treat culture’. I don’t believe there is any harm in enjoying foods and having a treat. I do, however, believe the meaning of ‘treat’ has sadly become synonymous with sugar laden, artificially coloured nasties. It can be hard to break this ‘treat’ cycle but it is possible to re-educate us on what a treat actually is. I firmly believe we should be ‘treating’ with goodness: a homemade cake, a trip to the park, seeing vegetables and fruit as a treat instead of something that has to be eaten.
My point today is, if you want to protect your child we need to look at so many elements: diet and managing how much sugar our children have, their movement, their sleep, supporting them to manage their stress levels and support good gut health. Fundamentally, just starting with eating more fruit and vegetables especially can help with this.
Please do get in touch if you have any questions, or have a look at my latest e-course -designed to help you help your family live to 100!