Healthy Children

Put down that bit of Dairy Milk you’re about to give your beloved child and just read this for like a second, ok?
This blog is about your childs health and how it is very important from an early age that we help them know what foods are healthy and what are not so healthy.
I ended up having a fairly heated debate on my facebook a few days ago because I said I didn’t agree with babies having chocolate, crisps, sweets or fizzy drinks. I couldn’t quite believe the response I got from a few people, who actually seemed to completely disagree with me and/or took it rather personally.
When I talk about babies being given basically junk food and processed food I mean babies, before they are even one years old, I can’t personally see why anyone would actually find it ok to give a baby food like that, yes there’s that whole ‘each to their own’ phrase you can sling around here, but I don’t personally feel like we should say that, I think we should be asking that parent ‘why?’ why are you giving your baby pretty much the worst foods in the world at such a young age? Do you actually realise what you’re doing to your child by introducing this sort of food so young?
I honestly don’t think some parents realise that adult obesity starts from the weaning stage, you alone as your childs mother or father, even together are the sole people who are feeding your child, you are the ones who are to blame if your child gradually becomes fatter and fatter, so from the weaning age (6 months onwards) this is the time where you should take full responsibility for the things that go in your child's mouth! Would you rather give your child a bit of chocolate as their first weaning foods or would you prefer that nice bit of boiled carrot? How about that cold fizzy lemonade or their usual baby milk? Is that bit of chocolate really going to give your baby the best nourishment they can have? Or is just going to give your child a sweet tooth?

Someone commented during this debate that we should stop judging other mothers as these babies who are fed crap are not our own children. Is it wrong that I completely and utterly disagree with that? I think we should judge a parent who gives their babies complete junk. I honestly have no idea who or why anyone else thinks that’s acceptable.This person then went on to say that everything is ok in moderation. To an extent I agree with this, but not when the child is still a baby, maybe when they are more at the age where they can run around the park, burn it all off, brush their teeth properly (although even then I still don’t think they should have chocolate etc every day or fizzy drinks at all, or fast food at all, but hey that’s me!) A baby can’t ask you for an apple, a grape, or anything that’s considered healthy, they can’t ask you themselves why you are giving them junk food, so the way I see it, you are forcing that child to eat that junk, you’re not offering them anything else, so that’s the only food choice they have got, does that sound fair to you? Would you like to be force fed chocolate or any food actually, having no idea what damage it could do to you? No? Didn’t think so.

Then there’s the people that say, well eating healthily costs a lot more money.I think these people have never actually done proper shopping in their lives, never opened a cookbook, never been to their local green grocer or butchers or ever used a shopping compare website.
Green grocers tend to like a good haggle! Haggle their costs if you think they are too much!
Buy what you need for the next two days so nothing goes to waste, go to your local budget store like Lidl or Aldi, their fruit and veg is always on offer, far cheaper than say Tesco or ASDA!
Butchers do tend to be a bit more expensive than your local supermarket, but that’s because it’s usually locally sourced so you know where it’s from and there isn’t ever any added extras in the meat, so if you’re fairly conscious about what you eat as a family then a few extra pounds shouldn’t matter.
Grow your own veg? You don’t need a massive garden to grow some herbs, some strawberries etc, you could even get an allotment to grow them.
Frozen veg & fruit! If in doubt just buy it all frozen, you can buy big bags of it for about £1.50 in most places, that’s far more cheaper than a big bar of chocolate!
Once you’ve got all your super cheap fruit and veg and lovely local meat, just open a cookbook or even look online for some simple recipes, make your dinners and there you go! Any left overs? Save them for lunch or freeze them for future dinners!
Making your own food is so much better for your children than processed chicken nuggets or fish fingers. You know everything that is going into your meals, you know the fat, salt and sugar intake in everything, you are in CONTROL! Once you start cooking it just becomes habit, you’ll wonder why you never did it before!
Got a crazy toddler running around wanting to play with you whilst you cook? Stick an apron on them and ask them to help you make their dinner! They are also more likely to eat it if they know they have helped make it.
You can also bake your own goodies like cakes and cookies (this is where I suppose everything in moderation comes in when your children are older), you know how much sugar is going into your goodies, you can swap sugar to sweeteners, use low fat margarine instead of full fat butter, semi skimmed milk instead of full fat! There are so many swaps you can make and the goodies still taste just as good, just slightly better for your family!
I’m not saying with all of this you should ban all junk food, I just think you should seriously think about what you give your children, of course treats now and again are acceptable, but don’t raise your children up thinking they will get chocolate if they do the dishes or whatever, that’s bribing children into doing things for food, then they will always expect treats whenever they do something very little. I do think all children should avoid fast food like McDonalds etc, because let’s face it, it’s still processed food, and have you seen that photo floating around the internet lately of a photo of McDonalds food sitting on the doctors desk, it’s been there for two years and it’s not changed at all, no mould, no bad smell etc, all that processed crap is staying in your body, it takes longer to come out, to break down, why would you want that sitting in your child's gut?
I also think as parents we should also change our eating habits to fit in with our children, so we don’t become hypocrites, we become good role models to our children, we’ll probably lose a bit of weight and become healthier, that’s never a bad thing, if we eat what we feed our children and we run around as much as them I think together we can all raise healthier, happier children.

Now pick up that bit of Dairy Milk, you can continue to put it in your child's mouth or put it in yours or you could just put it aside and save it for another day, have a carrot with a bit of dip MMMM!

Here is a link to a helpful guid for you to help you have a healthier family, just click here.
Something to put you off some foods for life, click here.