Parental intuition has always told us that feeding our children is one of the most important roles we can be responsible for in life. Medical research has been slow to catch up to parents, however, the impact of childhood nutrition upon health in later life has now been well established within the scientific literature.
The diet our children eat is everybody’s business! Infant feeding will influence public health expenditure for every generation. It’s a daily necessity, but it’s that important! We all play a role in our children’s’ eating habits because our own behaviours around food, our pantry contents, our own disciplinary actions that utilise food as a reward, and our attitude towards positive and social eating experiences shape our children’s’ food preferences, appetite regulation and life-long nutrition.
It should be straightforward, however, with the local supermarket stocking more than 30 000 food items this business of a healthy diet is influenced by more than just our own ‘four walls’. It is dependant upon many changing factors in our children’s’ lives.
So when the going ‘gets tough’, or when the choices become too overwhelming just take it back to basics! And don’t trust the food industry because you can be certain that as soon as you think you’ve made the best choice there will be another food manufacturer trying to convince your child on prime time that their product is more nutritious and more fun! If its not wrapped in nature’s wrapping paper its not, and we (the adults) are responsible for making the fun…………
Emma’s nutrition basics:
Ensure you experience one family meal, at a dinner table, every week with your children
Do talk about the food that is being eaten, how it was grown and cooked, and why it’s good for our bodies to eat it. If you don’t know how it was grown yourself do a little Professor Google
A buffet style meal served at the table can be a great activity for encouraging children to make their own choices from a selection of healthy foods. Parent provides, children decides
Fruit juice should be a ‘sometimes food’, i.e. at most every third grocery shop. Fresh fruit is best for consuming nutrients and fibre. Citrus fruits are not the only good source of Vitamin C - vegetables are rich in Vitamin C too!
If your child is being choosy at meal times give them two choices only
If there is tension created by your child’s choosiness, consult an expert – this isn’t the recipe for relaxed healthy eating. Stress turns a child’s appetite off!
When buying processed foods try to choose options that have less than 25g sugar per 100g of the food. Look at the far right hand column of the food nutrition label. Don’t be fooled by front of package claims: these aren’t as tightly regulated by food standards as they nutrition label on the back
Emma speacialises in all aspects of childhood nutrition. Book in your consult today