How do you make food choices for your children? What are the main things that influence your decisions? Has this changed over time?
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I try to avoid visiting McDonalds with my children and other fast food outlets. We visit once a year at the most, twice a year would be a lot. What I find scary is the power of their marketing promotions, that lures children. More education is needed to make children aware that the food industry giants do not have their health at heart, in the quest to make more profit. Courses like MEND, have been instrumental in me making changes to the family diet like switching from white bread and pasta to wholemeal varieties.
Something I am always concerned about is the primary school meals, both the free ones and the paid ones have dessert every lunch. how many of us eat dessert after each lunch and cant these be changed to healthy options or no dessert, some schools do provide fruits and yoghurt as options. the yoghurts are normally the sweet ones and how many children will opt for fruits when they have jelly and chocolate brownies on menu.
also most events at school are always joined with sugary treats, from Harribos to cake sales and christmas/summer fair with more sugary sales. of course there is a discussion on healthy food, the eatwell plate, but the school my daugther goes to was using the old eatwell plate even though the new eatwell plate has been there more than a year. Now how are the teachers being updates on new guidelines. especially the new plate doesnt includes sugary treats as part of the meal. which is a change that the children should be informed and saying no sugary treats should be followed by action. I also believe that parents should be encouraged not to bring in unhealthy food for children when collecting them from school. Adverts play a role, but I find it easier to manage my child with adverts than when other kids are eating cakes etc after school when I take banana. I believe that the school and home shgould be targetted more as thats where children spend most of their time.
Generally children should be used to eating the same meals as you. It's when they are allowed a choice that things get more difficult. My children are now quite old but have always been good at eating home cooked food and thankfully make their own home cooked food now too.
Availability, price and healthyness , weight of food difficult as I cycle home so it's limited what I can carry
what would help - smaller portions everywhere, cheaper more available fresh veg , less junk food , more responsible companies not charging the earth for fruit and veg
school menus are not enough healthy. even those who try to be are far less healthy that the school menus of other countries. Desserts and sweets should be banned from schools and ice cream vans shouldn't be allowed to park in front of schools. Children shouldn't just learn the meaning of the different nutrients but mostly the effects on health of junk food. Seeing the effects on your helth and on your family helth of bad food it's more important that knowing the difference between carbohidrate and proteins. Schools should visit local farms and mostly pick up your own farms. Children should learn about the impact on the environment of buying food that comes from the other side of the planet. They should learn to read the ingredients of what they buy and understand what they mean.