Does your kid prefer to flop in front of his PS2 with a bag of crisps or take a football and a bag of fruit to the park? Chances are your family falls somewhere between these two extremes, but with concern growing about childhood obesity and the associated increase in the incidence of type II diabetes, high cholesterol readings and later heart disease in our children, the time to introduce healthier lifestyle choices is now.
‘Parents need to recognise the importance of forming good habits in childhood, which will lead to a balanced and enjoyable diet later in life,’ advises Sarah Schenker, a dietitian with the British Nutrition Foundation. ‘Eating a wide variety of foods is the most important thing,’ she adds, ‘and a gentle, consistent approach usually results in a broader eating range.’ Here are some questions to ask yourself.
1. How does your child eat?
2. What would you pack for a picnic or school lunch?
3. How often does your child have sweets?
4. What does your child drink?
5. What do your child’s after-school activities most often include?
6. How much walking do you do as a family?
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