Over recent months, there has been so much talk in the press around kids health and the rising obesity rates in the younger generation. When I heard last week that the average British child ‘has eaten 18 years of sugar’ by age 10 and that severe obesity in children aged 10-11 was at a record high, I really thought that it was time for me to sit up and really think about what my kids were eating.
Over Christmas, I pretty much left the boys to eat through the mountains of sweets and chocolates that they had been given and because it was the holidays they pretty much had free reign over the Xbox too! What was I doing to them?! Time for change!
Here are 5 things we have done to help our children get healthy…
Make Simple swaps to low sugar options
First of all, I have gotten rid of all of our sugary cereals and replaced them with much healthier alternatives. Not only do my boys now realise they actually like Weetabix, they are also eating fruit with it too… win win!
Next up… yoghurts! My boys practically inhale the chocolate Muller corners. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been giving them low sugar yoghurt served with fruit which they seem to love, once again… win win!
Finally, no more juice! I have to admit, that I am also a little addicted to fruit cordial (aside from gin that is!) and consequently its become the first choice for the boys too. Over the last few weeks, I’ve scrapped the juice and replaced with good old tap water! We have also been adding fruit to the water to flavour it and so far so good!
My kids love cooking and baking but too often I just take control because life is busy and I want to get dinner made a quickly as possible. Take a step back and think about how your children can help in preparing food. Let them choose healthy recipes from a cookbook, try new things and most of all enjoy the time together. My little boy now makes a wicked omelette!
We are very lucky to very near to a beautiful beach but again, life is busy and we don’t make the most of it at all. Since Christmas, I have vowed to take the children every Sunday to walk on the beach. There are sand dunes to run up and down, fresh air galore and its also done the world of good for me too! Think about what you have on your doorstep, whether it’s a beach a park or just a walk around the block, the fresh air will do you all good.
Get your children to understand food labels
Older children especially should be able to read food labels to understand what is in their food. Lots of supermarkets now use a traffic light system to make it really easy to see which products are high in sugar, fat or salt. Get your children to look at food labels on a regular basis so that they really develop an awareness of foods. The NHS have a fantastic child friendly video which explains how to read food labels, check it out here. https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/food-facts/food-labels. You’ll also find some other great tips on this site too!
5 a day
A diet full of fruit and vegetables is really going to help to keep your children healthy. My children often think that fruit is ‘boring’ so I now present it in fun ways which my children love. Here are some fun ideas to try:
Chocolate rasberries and strawberries (these are really fun for kids to make too!)
All the pinks
I hope these ideas have given you some food for thought! I’d love to hear about the things you do with your kids?