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Why we should be making our children's relationship with food a priority


Despite a movement towards healthier eating at schools, recent statistics released by the NHS showed that 1 in 5 children in England are starting primary school overweight or obese. Alongside ensuring that those in education undertake a sufficient amount of exercise, it is more important than ever that we make children’s relationships with food a priority. This can then set them up with healthy eating habits for life. There are a number of key ways that this can be achieved.

School caterers need to encourage healthy eating

When the Department of Health released its childhood obesity plan in 2016, it stated that a collective approach is the most effective way of reducing obesity in children, rather than purely relying on parents to bring about dietary changes for their children. Therefore, universal adjustments like reducing portion sizes, or limiting sugary food, not only at home but for food served in schools, can make a real difference.

As we consume one-third of our calories outside the home, it is imperative that school caterers do their bit to help children that eat their lunches at school. A healthy school menu can make a huge impact on the health of children. FE institutions such as Barnsley College have already taken the initiative in emphasising the importance of weekly meal plans/healthy food options. By introducing menu items like healthy Slush drinks (instead of typical Slush Puppies that are full of E numbers) that are popular with students and counts as one of their five a day of vegetable or fruit portions, students are consuming healthier lunches that they also genuinely enjoy.

Better and more extensive food education needs to be delivered by schools

Charities like the Soil Association are also working towards improving the nutrition of schoolchildren. Through its Food for Life programme, 75% of the food served by schools on the programme is prepared on site using fresh ingredients, with no additives. This has real benefits for children, with pupils twice as likely to eat their five a day, and a third less likely to eat no fruit or vegetables in Food for Life schools, in comparison to schools not on the scheme. More institutions need to follow the lead of these type of initiatives, with research showing that there are unhealthy food environments at many secondary schools, compromising pupils’ ability to make good food choices.

As well as selling healthier food, schools also have a responsibility to teach children about the importance of healthy eating. Only then can childhood obesity be more successfully tackled.

Healthy eating advocates such as Jamie Oliver have long stated that food education is crucial in the battle against diet-related disease. Although he and others successfully campaigned for food education to be part of the national curriculum in 2013, the implementation of this has been inconsistent, to the detriment of school children.

As parents we can do our part

Persuading your children to eat more healthily can be a difficult task, especially if they are a fussy eater. However, there are a number of tips outlined on The Health Site that can improve your chances of being able to ensure your child eats better food. For example, one way to do so is make your children’s packed lunch look more visually appealing. An easy way of doing this is by investing in a compartmentalised tiffin box.

Using this box, you can pack a variety of food into each of the compartments, such as nuts, dry fruits and bread, making your child feel tempted to eat them as the meal looks more manageable, and ensuring they eat a varied meal for lunch. Another advantage of this is that you can’t pack too much of one thing in the box, ensuring the portion sizes are not too large.

Another tip that can help motivate children to eat more healthily is to allow them to pack their own lunch. By making your child an active participant in the decision-making process and feel like they have put some effort into the process, they are more likely to eat the packed food. This means talking about food with your kid to discuss what they would like. The site also recommends occasionally putting in a surprise piece of food into the box to motivate your child to eat the rest of the food inside.

2 comments

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    HOW TO GET YOUR DIVORCE EX HUSBAND & WIFE BACK BEFORE XMAS

    I want to really use this medium to thank powerful Dr. Ugo wonders for helping me get my broken home back after my husband of 18 years left me for another lady. Two months ago my Husband filed for a divorce through his lawyer when we had no issues at all. i was surprised because our family was a very happy one with three beautiful kids that even neighbors were jealous of us. i never knew a girl he met at the mall cast a spell on him so he will love her alone and forget about his family. i tried all ways to reach him and make peace ordinarily but i could not because the potency of the spell was so high on him that he could not even get himself. a friend of mine who felt pity for me introduced me to Dr. Ugo through his email ( generalspelltemple@gmail.com ) so i contacted Dr. Ugo and told him all about my marital problem. He assured me that he will help me and that my husband will be back to me in 24 hours, i trusted him because he had worked for my friend who wont stop testifying about him. To my greatest surprise, after 24 hours of contacting Dr. Ugo, my husband called me to start begging and immediately came back to us and now we are happy family again. i cant stop thanking Dr. Ugo wonders and i advice anyone out there with any relationship or marriage problem to contact him immediately for help through his email generalspelltemple@gmail.com or call his mobile
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    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, Really great effort. Everyone must read this article. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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