Why are we so fat, obese or just plain overweight? Here are five tricks to help our kids stay slim now and later on in life. You will also notice that we have a new category on the blog, Family Recipes, which is going to help us stay on track as well.
I have also found a great resource in helping with really cheap and nourishing food. Saves loads of time and money. Encourage your kids to eat better and healthy food. I have written a story about this for younger kids which raises awareness about healthy diets and a saner attitude to body image.
Figures from Public Health England are pretty alarming, to say the least. Almost two-thirds of adults are just overweight. As regards the USA, the estimates by the CDC of people who are obese (we are going up a few waist sizes here) are about 35%.
Whatever figure we take, the implications for living a shorter life are pretty horrendous. Most of these adults who are in the above categories are going to suffer from one or more of the following chronic conditions:-
- heart disease
- mental health issues
These health problems cost a fortune. UK estimates put the cost in hospital care, treatment and lost productivity at a whopping £5 billion a year! That is why it is so important to help kids stay slim for life.
Efforts to tax unhealthy food do not usually work
Public health authorities make elaborate plans to help us become more aware of nutrition facts and calorie counting by ordering edicts about what should be put on food packaging. Then there are all the issues about whether there should be a tax on sugar, salt, and fat-laden foods.
All well and good but then the bad news is that the food industry is one step ahead of the game. In addition, they are determined to get around these new regulations in order to keep raking in the profits. They have also cleverly changed 100 grams to a ‘portion size’ which is misleading but it makes the calories count look quite healthy. This is a hindrance, rather than a help.
Ask Mayor Bloomberg about fizzy drinks
Look what ex-Mayor Bloomberg tried to do by imposing a ban on large-sized fizzy drinks. That has ended up in courts with the American Beverage Association contesting the order. The whole issue has not been helped by supermarkets who go for the supersize at reduced prices to encourage people to buy more than they need. The BOGOF (buy one, get one free) does not help our waistlines stay slim either.
Here are 5 tricks to help our kids stay slim
1. Breakfast cereals are full of salt and sugar. The nutrition facts have been changed in many cases. Kellogg’s new cereal called Krave (what an apt name!) has a mere 132 calories for every 30 grams. You see, they have changed the portion size from 100 grams which would be a whopping 440 calories. But no children or teenagers are going off to school on 30 grams of cereals. Best thing is to go for oatmeal, fruit and a little protein such as an egg or cheese. The latter will help to prevent sugar crashes in the late morning.
2. Avoid stocking up on biscuits, sugary snacks, and crisps. These are better left on the supermarket shelves. Much better to stock up on fruit, nuts and dark chocolate for those afternoon snacks.
3. Forget about the ‘grab and go’ mentality making sure that mealtimes are events, rather than refueling stops. It is a great time to catch up on the children, family news, without the TV.
4. Make sure that regular exercise in the open air is built into family activities especially at weekends. Try to ensure that none of your children become a couch potato or become overly attached to computers, phone, and video games. When they do, the snack more and exercise less, except for their fingers!
5. If your kids are not keen on veggies, try to get them into smoothies which are fun and easy to make. Kids can also choose what goes in them and can invent their favorites.
Some final words
These then are five simple ways to try and keep those highly processed foods out of your fridge by leaving them on the supermarket shelves.