Making sure your kids get a taste for the good life
“They will, as overweight and obese children, very likely grow up to be overweight and obese adults. They will, as a result, develop diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, suffer many side effects and die younger than they would have were they a healthy weight. The future for overweight kids in Ireland is bleak.”
So Burns put the wheels in motion for an easy-to-read guide which gives step-by-step practical advice and recipes which parents can use to help their children off the road to obesity.
“Our children are exposed to constant triggers about eating that we never had growing up, so while we might know what it is that they should be eating, and when and where, we feel it is no longer under our control entirely,” she says.
“But in actual fact 90 per cent of what our five to 12 year olds eat comes from the home, so we are totally in charge of how and what and where they eat – we simply don’t know that we are. My book is a 10-step guide to help you get your kids back on the straight and narrow of healthy balanced eating and forward to a fun and fit future.
“I feel it is our responsibility to feed our kids well and to teach them the language of good nutrition, because it is our fault if they don’t eat well.”
Food Nanny tips
The most basic step a parent can take now to tackle their family’s weight problem is to start saying “No” to untimely requests for food. If your child has eaten only some of their dinner and 10 minutes later is requesting something else to eat, the answer should be a resounding “No”.
The household mantra should be “eat only at the table” or “if your bum isn’t on a seat, you don’t eat”. If this were the only rule you were to adhere to as a parent, your children’s intake of poor quality, high sugar, salt and fat foods would instantly diminish.
We must endeavour to get our kids’ required one hour of activity into their day, every day of the week.
It is never too late to change. It is never too late to lose weight, either as an adult or as a child.
Do not weigh your kids. Do not involve them in their weight loss. Simply teach them the language of good food habits.
The Food Nanny is published by Gill and Macmillan €12.99