Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sugars and fats for kids

No matter how conscientious you are, you cannot prevent your children from coming into contact with, and consuming, sweets, biscuits, cakes, chocolates, crisps etc. Certainly by the time a child turns 2 he/she has already been to several birthday parties and family celebrations where such food items will have been readily available. The best you can do is keep your own house as clear of these items as possible and, when out with the children, set an example by not eating such things yourself.

I'm not saying that no-one should ever have such treats. But the quantity should be controlled. And maybe we shouldn't label them as 'treats' - they are just other food items, and no longer things saved for special occassions. Food items packed with calories from saturated fats and sugar, and loaded with artificial colourants, flavourings and preservatives.

The next time you host a party for kids try to keep the menu as simple and fresh as possible.
Brown bread sandwiches with: egg mayo, grated cheese, marmite and cucumber, etc.
Fruit bread instead of cake.
Fresh fruit - strawberries, grapes, apple slices - instead of sweets.
Plain biscuits - digestives, ginger nuts, maries.
Dried fruit and nuts (just check none of your guests have nut allergies) instead of crisps.
If you want something savoury and munchy, opt for pretzels - less fat, less salt.
Instead of ice-cream serve frozen yoghurt.
And to drink, diluted fruit juice or smoothies.
At least if there are any left-overs, they are healthy - not temptations to stray. And I promise the kids will not miss eating cake.

The other thing you can (and should) do is spread the word about healthy eating. By example, and with healthy eating habits instilled from an early age, hopefully this newest generation will not have to battle with their weight and health the way we have had to.

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