Creating Good Eating Habits

Lunch boxes… that’s where it all starts to go wrong…   Horrible concept if you ask me…  I hate lunch boxes.

Poor parents have to work out a balanced diet for their children… everyday! what a nightmare when you haven’t had any training, lessons or teaching. And who has been taught the essentials? No one. Except dieticians, most people don’t have a clue! What a crime to put parents in charge. How much is this costing every year to the country to fix problems that should not be here in the first place if good habits had been formed?

Back in my home country, meals are provided by schools. The menus have been carefully studied by professional dieticians (whose entire jobs are to related to healthy eating) and each meal provides the appropriate balanced nutrition for children. The law is so strict regarding the healthy and also the hygienic points of view.  Children walk into a restaurant looking like area, the “Cantine” and are to eat sitting like descent human beings at a table, using cutlery too. Not hands like monkeys do!!!  They have to eat all that’s been served to them before they can go outside and play. Those are the rules.  The meals have a cold (freshly made) starter, a hot main meal and some dairy dessert or fruit. All is either refrigerated correctly or cooked freshly every morning. Every day the menu is different. One same menu for everybody. It respects the food allergies of course but the best part is that all children learn to eat everything, no peer pressure, they’re all in the same boat and all of them eat the green stuff too!  Hurray!

Imagine:  no packaging  (eco friendly), no worries for the parents ( easy peasy, no wasting money in individual wrappings (financially friendly because the costs are being brought right down because we’re talking huge quantities here…)

win win win…

Here, lunch boxes have to comply with the food allergies of other students in the school and also has to be able to cope with the hight temperatures of the country. The poor children have to carry their school bags and a little lunch box with heavy ice blocks to preserve the food from starting to go bad.

Then children have to eat from their lunch boxes, sitting on the concrete school yard , between bird shit and other unhygienic matters. Just like you would feed your dog, by putting the bowl  on the ground! Would you eat sitting on the pavement at home? Do teachers eat off the floor, outside?

NO WAY!!!!

How behind is this? Where are we back to? prehistoric times? middle ages? Aren’t we human beings, developed creatures, knowledgeable and educated? So why do we feed out children on the ground and treat them like animals? I just don’t get it. I never will and never will try.

It is so unfair on the child and also for the poor mother who day after day is facing the dilemma.

Ok, Junk food doesn’t require any preparation, and since it is tasty, the children are pretty happy eating that.  Especially since all their peers eat the same crap. If you send your child with a real yoghurt instead of yoghurt balls, you can make sure that after a few days the yoghurt will end up in the bin or still warming up in the lunch box when the child returns to you. Peer pressure.

What is wrong with this system? Everything. Everything is wrong with it. How do you educate young children? Oh well, just treat them like dogs, let them eat off the floor and then lecture them for hours every week on manners and respect and all that is humanely common sense to us adults (some of us anyway!! lol)

No wonder this is the fattest nation in the world! Look at the eating habits this country has!

Most mums don’t seem to cook much here. Take away does cook for you but it’s all to greasy and salty. It kills the taste buds among other important elements in our body.

Mums don’t eat at lunch time. Or rarely…   Everywhere I go and it is lunch time, I can see my friends giving lunch boxes out to the children but what do they have for themselves? Nothing! Nothing at all. They sip sugary coffee or tea instead and then wonder why they are so fat!! lol.

Ladies, you want to drop kgs? Start eating!

Lead by example and show your children good healthy eating habits. Feed yourself.

If you’re to slack to make a sandwich (which I am occasionally) or run out of time for whatever reason (that’s also my case most of the time), then wash up some carrots, fruit, tomatoes celery sticks, apples, throw a yoghurt or two with ice blocks in the esky (and please remember th spoons!  don’t do what I do. lol)…

All healthy and raw vegies don’t take much time to wash up and throw in a box. You can bulk wash for the whole family. And then you all sit somewhere, with your picnic, together and share ideas and stories about your morning or day across the food. Make it interesting so the children stay and forget they’re eating healthy stuff. No need for greasy sauces either. They’re all made with sugar in them! they are the worst of all: fat, sugar, salt… bad bad bad!!!

Don’t ever skip a meal, this is the easiest way to lose weight!!!

Each time you skip a meal thinking you’ve lost a few kilojoules, your body starts worrying about the next time it will get fuel and starts stocking food.  So what you need to do is reassure your body by eating at every meal, and, at almost the same time everyday. Then , you won’t be starving all the time and thinking about food every time you pass the kitchen (and open the fridge without thinking= this is such a bad habit!) or walk around the shops, your body will know it’s going to be fed properly at the same time everyday so it uses the energy as it comes instead of stocking it up just in case it misses the next meal.

And most of all, ladies, mothers out there in the world, please, for the sake of your children,

DO STOP FEEDING CHIPS (or flavoured crackers) TO BABIES, TODDLERS AND CHILDREN !!!! PLEASE.

It is criminal. Those poor little angels need proper food, remember they are building flesh, skin, muscles, neurones and all!!! Chips have nothing in them for the little ones. It is fun junk food for you maybe but it is poison to them. Yes, poison. Why am I using such a strong word? Well, once again, you are creating  habit here, your are educating the taste buds too. So why not start fresh and give them the best opportunity? My first child saw a lolly for the first time she was 2 and 3 months.  A well intentioned and nice mother had put lolly bags in all the children’s school bags for her child’ s birthday. When my precious one saw that she went in her bag and fetched out the beautifully colourful and flavoured attractive destructive treats and asked me what it was. Poor thing watched the others shove them in their mouths and me, throwing them in the bin! Of course I spoke to her and explained they weren’t healthy things.  She trusted my judgement because I had always done the right thing by her. Now she is 10. She’d rather have a dried fruit than one of those hyper sugary and full of flavourings and colourings in them. I did let my children have them recently but they don’t like them. They taste like medicines to them, the flavours are so fake and far from reality! My youngest reckons the worst of all are those labelled strawberry flavoured!   lol

My children never suffered from not having lollies, chips, chocolate, colourful cup cakes  or other disgusting junk food at birthday parties because it’s always been like this in our family. They didn’t know what they were missing out on because I had never let them taste those. If I had, I would have had to struggle at the supermarket counter, like all these poor parents who have toddlers throwing tantrums because they want to buy lollies. My children never even asked, they probably didn’t even see them, their interests where elsewhere. I created a good habit by not ever buying at the counter while in the queue. They’ve never been crossed with me because I didn’t buy today. Because we never do anyway.  Being bored while waiting doesn’t give you the excuse to succumb and buy what the shop keeper has cleverly put here, in front of you, to tempt you and make more money from your weakness.  You don’t have to buy that, you don’t need it, do you?  You have to teach that to your children now, because that’s where the danger is: habit.

The first time I’ve bought lollies was when my eldest was 9 and little one was 8. We were queuing at the chemist and there was a rack of organic honey lollies. I asked my oldest to grab a packet. She knew what it was by that age but didn’t understand why I’d ask her that.  The faces they were both pulling… lol not really shocked but quite thrown out really.

Now this is one and a half-year ago. The packet is still in the fridge! Occasionally we have one each. we appreciate it.

I guess, what I am saying is that you can do it. If I can, you can. Start little: don’t give food to your baby when it cries. I’m not talking about breast-feeding here obviously, I am talking solid food. If you’re pushing the pram/stroller, driving around, at the park or with friends… and baby is not happy, don’t calm her/him with food (unless it is meal time of course). Why not? Once again, because you are creating bad habits. You are teaching to associate food to comfort.

Baby is not happy, he/she cries. Response= food.  Later on, when big babies (us adults) have a problem, are not happy, are stressed or simply feeling sad, we will crawl back to old habits, comforting habits from our early carefree years= eat junk when you’re feeling depressed and you’ll feel better.

NO !!!

Do something else instead.

Remember: the earlier you do that, the easier it will be and the sooner it will become  easier.

Read a book to the baby, pick him/her up for a cuddle, talk to him/her, show him/her something interesting that will take his/her mind off.  Don’t be scared to be rude to your friends or people around, you’re educating a human being here, this is a top priority job, you might save your child from obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, metabolic syndrome,  and more!

Childhood obesity causes liver, lung, heart and musculoskeletal complications as well as psychological ones. Grass root efforts at changing urban planning, legislation, and school practices need to be employed to help stem the tide of obesity. Lifestyle change is the most effective treatment, but the hardest to implement. As a result of higher childhood obesity rates, more and more adolescents are subjecting themselves to gastric banding.
http://www.obesityinamerica.org/understandingObesity/diseases.cfm

You’re the only one who can save your child.

Do not tell me about hereditary body types. It may be true but that is a very poor excuse. Even with bad genes we can still look good if we put the correct effort into it. Even people with good genes can become obese or unhealthy.

Find the strength within yourself to start today

and please drop me a line when you start feeling good about yourself.

Can you change your eating habits and give a chance to your children?

You can break the chain of bad eating habits right now.

YOU

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