It will take multiple approaches to keep kids healthy, so what are the things we can do as parents to help?

‘One in four children have ordered a fast food delivery to their school’ claims The Royal Society of Public health. These are the findings when 500 children aged between 13 and 18 years old were surveyed, most ordering them via their smart phone.

Nearly one in five 10 to 11 year olds are now obese. So how do we encourage children to eat healthy meals at school and at home?

One idea that is being considered by the Committee of Advertising Practice, as a way of reducing childhood obesity, is a complete ban on advertising unhealthy foods to children. Although there is a view that more children spend time on line than watching television so it may not have enough of an impact.

It will take multiple approaches to keep kids healthy, so what are the things we can do as parents to help?

  • Role model good eating habits with plenty of vegetables and fruit, whole grains and quality proteins such as lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts and beans.
  • Try to make your family’s plate as colourful as possible with fresh foods that look appealing.
  • Sit together as a family at a table as much as you can, avoid having the TV on and keep phones away during meal times.
  • Try not to stock up on too many unhealthy foods, multipacks can be a false economy.
  • Get kids involved in food shopping and preparing meals or school packed lunches as a way of getting them to try new things. Cooking is an essential skill to learn as they become adults. Flick though recipe books or online to select new ideas.
  • Without preaching try to educate them about the hidden sugars and fats in take-ways and ready meals.
  • Being active as a family can only help fitness levels and weight management for both adults and kids.    
  • Of course treat foods are fine, in moderation after eating a balanced diet the rest of the day!

To read the full articles, go to:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/23/one-in-four-children-have-ordered-a-fast-food-delivery-to-their/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36283138

New Eatwell Guide Replaces The Eatwell Plate

Eatwell Guide

The government have recently changed the guidelines to the Eatwell plate launched in 2010. The aim is to help adults understand what forms the basis of a healthy diet. However, it has received mixed reviews from some healthcare professionals, so what does it really mean to us?

 Here are a summary of the key messages:

Eatwell Guide

Additional tips

Aim to eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count.

 

Watch it’s not all from fruit though or it will be too much sugar, especially dried fruit.

Choose wholegrain or higher fibre carbohydrates.

 

This guide might be have too much carbohydrate in it if you are looking to lose weight.

Increase fibre to 30 grams a day (the average is currently 19 grams).

 

This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on. 

Having some dairy or dairy alternatives such as soya drinks choosing lower fat and lower sugar options

Careful here as low fat and low sugar aren’t always the best option, go for natural live yoghurt and add your own fruit or honey.

Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily).

 

Yes great variety is important. Fish is a great source of Omega 3 too.

Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume in small amounts.

 

Use olive oil for dressings and coconut oil or a little butter in cooking as they are more stable under high temperatures.

Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of fluid a day. Sugary soft drinks have been removed from the old 'plate'.

 

Try to make water your main drink, alternate with herbals teas to avoid too much caffeine. 

 

Healthy New You! Mindful Eating!

It’s this time of year we decide to make New Years resolutions about eating better, drinking less or exercising more. One of the best ways to improve your eating habits is to try and follow ‘mindful eating’.  This is when we consciously take time to sit and eat and chew our food. This improves our digestion and helps us avoid overeating. It helps children develop good eating habits for life. It may sound simple but so many of us struggle to follow it. Here are some ideas to help:

 Top Tips for Mindful Eating
  • Plan your meals and make a shopping list so you are not tempted by the supermarkets to buy unhealthy things you don’t need.
  • Take time out to eat and focus on your food. It’s difficult with young children at mealtimes but it is very easy to eat more than you need, when your attention is elsewhere.
  • Try not to unconsciously finish off children’s leftovers.
  • Put kids treats out of easy reach, so that you are not tempted to pick every time you walk past them in the kitchen.
  • Be aware of buying multipacks or bigger packets of unhealthy snacks. Research suggests we (or our kids!) simply eat more, so it can be a false economy. 
  • Put snacks on a plate to avoid mindless grazing.
  • Keeping a food diary for a few days can be helpful to identify how much you are eating and make you more conscious.

 If you need help with any of these don’t hesitate to get in touch with our nutritionist Celia at info@celia-precioushealth.co.uk

Boosting Your Child's Brain Power

With children back at school now it is important to focus on getting the right nutrients to help their learning and memory.

 Fats

  • Our brains are made up of fat so it is important to have good amounts of the right type of fat in our diet. Fish oils, such as omega 3s are really beneficial – particularly a component of fish oil called DHA.
  • If your child is having 3 portions of oily fish a week and a daily portion of seeds they should be getting a good level to help their brains develop.
  • Avoid trans fats: These are usually found in junk food and processed foods so try to cut these out and avoid foods which have the wording hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils on the label.

 Balancing blood sugar levels

  • Sugar is our brain's fuel, however you have to make sure your child is getting the right types in the right amounts. Too much refined or ‘fast’ sugar means a blood sugar high and hyperactivity.
  • Eating slow releasing carbohydrates helps keep your child’s energy and concentration even.
  • Too much sugar and your child may be hyperactive. Too little and they may feel tired, irritable and find it hard to concentrate.

 Keeping hydrated

  • Dehydration can cause your brain structure and function to change and that’s the last thing your child needs if they are studying. If you don’t drink enough water you are more likely to be affected by poor recall.
  • Encourage them to take a water bottle with them, sip it regularly and make sure they fill up throughout the day.

 Vitamins and Minerals

  • Vitamins and minerals are key to building and rebuilding the brain. They mainly come from fruit, vegetables and wholefoods and can be supplemented for optimum brain performance.
  • Make sure that they eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day Choose wholefoods, not refined foods. Studies giving children supplements show improved IQ. Give them a suitable multi-vitamin and mineral supplements. 

Healthy Teens

Children can start having growth spurts from the age of 10 years old. With their bodies going through so many physical changes, they need the right balance of energy and nutrients. It can also be a time when their food choices are influenced by their friends, as they start to become more independent and eat away from the home more.

Key Nutrients to be aware of:

  • Iron - teenage girls are especially at risk because they lose iron during their periods. Good sources include meat, green leafy vegetables, dried apricots or fortified cereals.
  • Vitamin D – important for strong bones and our immune system. We get most of our vitamin D from the sun so it can be difficult to get all we need. Eat foods such as oily fish and eggs or have your levels tested and take a supplement.
  • Calcium – especially important for strong bones and teeth. Good sources include yoghurts, milk, cheese, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, nuts and seeds or fortified non dairy milks.
  • Omega 3 – to support brain function and skin health. Best sources are from oily fish such as salmon, mackerel or sardines or for vegetarian’s flax seed oil. Or get advice about taking a supplement.
  • Zinc – for skin health and to support our reproductive system.  Good sources include meat, fish and pumpkin seeds.

Top Tips:

ü  Don’t skip breakfast – sleepy teenagers may want a few extra minutes in bed but it is important to get some protein and carbohydrates into their morning. 

ü Stay hydrated – aim to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Watch out for sugary juices of fizzy drinks and limit fruit juice to no more than 150ml per day.

ü  5 a day - fruit and vegetables are good sources of many of the vitamins and minerals your body needs during your teenage years. Add salads and vegetables alongside meals, use with dips, in pasta sauces or add to home- made pizzas!

Eating healthily doesn’t mean that you have to give up all your favourite foods. It just means eating a good variety and cutting down on sugary foods and drinks.