Lead By Example – your children will love eating the same foods as you, so make sure you are practicing what you preach. It is many times harder to get a child to eat a food that you yourself will not eat.
I’ve spent this past weekend in London at the CAMExpo 2010, a dedicated complementary healthcare event.
The event featured discussions, lectures, workshops and stalls. It was a great opportunity to connect with people within the CAM industry and learn and refresh my knowledge, as well as re-affiriming my belief in the huge power of nutrition.
One lecture I attended was led by Alison Peacham of the ION, on Children’s Health – The Power of Nutrition. I wanted to attend this lecture as a nutritionist and as a mum, and I’m very happy to share my notes from that lecture here with you.
Excuse me while I rant a little.
I’m the proud mummy of the beautiful little girl in the picture – she is 15 months old and her name is Aspen. There are some things everyone knows about Aspen: one being that she is the smiliest baby you can imagine, and another being that she eats anything and everything and loves fruit.
Today, we were in a cafe and she was eating some fruit after her lunch – a mix of kiwi, banana and apple.
On the next table, a stranger with her own two children, who were eating not one but two packets of Quavers each.
Out of nowhere, this woman decided to lean over towards me and warn me against allowing my daughter to eat too much fruit, “because it’s full of sugar you know”.
I’m not in the habit of writing blog posts about random annoyances, but this exchange seemed to me to be pretty typical of the way some people view healthy eating.
We gotta have some perspective, guys.
Is fruit sweet? Of course. Full of natural sugars? Yes. Should you make sure the fibre from fruit is balanced by fat intake? Definitely.
But this is just one example of how some people focus on criticising healthy food options while excusing unhealthy ones.
The lady today, for example, had fed her children the two packets of Quavers each as their lunch, while my daughter had had a homemade lunch of Moroccan lamb with cous cous, followed by a selection of fruit.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out which diet wins on every nutritional issue.
This woman is representative of the people who eat crisps every lunch time but worry about switching to nuts because, well, “aren’t they kind of fattening?”
Or the people who I tell to switch just half of their oven chips at dinner for a warm salad who say “avocado has a lot of calories, right?”
Can I get something straight right now? Healthy eating does not mean that you starve yourself of calories and avoid all sources of fat. Not all sugars are bad.
So please, don’t fall into the trap of defending unhealthy food choices by attacking the healthier options available.
And if you see a woman feeding her children multiple packets of crisps as a meal, you better not be eating a banana!
Comments? Questions? Let me know what you think below: