Life is becoming increasingly busier and we seem to have less time on our hands. Whilst doing our best juggling relationships, work and family, we’re also trying to give our children whatever we can to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Good quality food, plenty of fresh air and exercise and a stable home environment.
There have been significant changes to our food supply over the last 20 years. We now have a wider range of cheaper and more accessible foods than ever before. Fast food chain outlets have increased in number and most foods they offer are high in saturated fats. More products on supermarket shelves are in the snack food category, and are being marketed directly to children.
For instance, muffins and cookies have significantly increased in size compared to a few years ago – portion sizes are larger, giving us more kilojoules than necessary. Potato chips are not the best way to eat potato – they’re cooked in oil and are high in fat and salt. Best left for special occasions only!
Children’s inactivity is also a concern today; on average, Aussie kids spend 2.5 hours in front of the television every day and this doesn’t include time spent on computers and iPads.
We do need to get back to basics; children learn by example so if we as parents eat well and maintain a level of physical activity, chances are they will do the same.
Want some healthy snack ideas?
— Fresh fruit
— Crunch sticks of vegetables to snack on; carrots, celery, cucumber (great with hommus too)
— Low fat yoghurts or drinking yoghurts
— Snack size cans of baked beans
— Fruit snack packs
— Small serves of dried fruit and nuts
— Rice crackers and salsa
And what about getting some more runs on the board with added exercise?
— Avoid driving on short trips when walking is possible
— Consider getting involved in community clubs, teams and associations
— Encourage the children’s friends to visit and play
— Take children to a park, pool or beach
— Find somewhere safe for them to ride their bikes, scooters or skateboards
— Be active yourself and support your child’s activity