first steps in healthy eating by t3293888

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                 Love at first bite:
           first
        steps in
        healthy
         eating
            Dietitian Cindy                         sense of healthy eating we gave       along the way we get to enjoy
            Williams offers advice                  in. “Hey, we’re not the parents.      healthy, energetic children and
            for parents of toddlers                 Our sanity is more important than     teenagers who voluntarily choose
                                                    meat and veges.” So we served         to eat more than just crisps and
            on how to develop a                     plain pasta (no sauce allowed)        2-minute noodles.
            love of healthy food.                   artistically surrounded by coloured
                                                    animal biscuits, poured ourselves
            “I don’t lIke carrots; I want           some wine, and finally relaxed.       HealtHy food
            animal biscuits!” My three year            Every parent has moments like      gives kids a Head
            old nephew screamed as his              this – where giving in is easier      start in life
            grandmother and aunty unsuc-            than taking a stand. Sometimes        Instinctively we know that the
            cessfully tried to feed him dinner.     we have to do this for our            food we feed our children has
            “You need to eat something              emotional health and sometimes        a huge effect on their growth,
            healthy. Here, just try a tiny bit of   for social reasons – to avoid         behaviour and health. Otherwise
            this yummy mashed potato. “No           World War 3 at the café! But          why would we bother goading
            – I want pasta!” For 20 minutes         making the effort to teach our        them to eat vegetables, resorting
            we struggled. Tears were falling,       kids healthy eating habits is one     desperately to sayings such as
            tempers were rising, time-out           of the best gifts we can give them    “Eat your carrots, they make you
            hadn’t worked. Then against every       for their long-term health. And       see in the dark” (based on the
                                                                                          fact that they contain beta-
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Reprinted with permission from the September 2006 issue of Healthy Food Guide
                                                                                                           www.healthyfood.co.nz
                                                                                                             Cindy Williams is a
                                                                                                             dietitian with over
                                                                                                             ten years experi-
                                                                                                             ence as a Nutrition
                                                                                                             Consultant in
                                                                                                             Australia and New
             carotene, a type of vitamin A of        you ate as a child. My mother
                                                                                             Zealand. She has consulted to
             which a deficiency causes night         went through a health phase             food industry, sports teams and
             blindness) and “What about              when we were kids – before              community organisations such as
                                                                                             the National Heart Foundation.
             the starving children in Africa?”       nutrition was such a popular topic.
                                                                                             She has a Master of Public Health
             (based on no logic at all - finishing   She decided we didn’t need salt         and a Graduate Diploma in
             your dinner unfortunately doesn’t       but we did need wheatgerm (a            Communication.
             help them). Why do we feel so           great source of vitamins B and
             guilty if they eat pasta and animal     E). So we all had wheatgerm
             biscuits for dinner?                    sprinkled on our salt-free porridge   Trying new foods can be fun and
                Here’s some of the science that      every morning. What started as        certainly the second six months
             supports our instinct. Babies who       taste-bud torture soon became         of life is a constant adventure in
             are breast-fed have less risk of        normal, and we all still eat          new flavours. By one year of age
             developing allergies. Toddlers          porridge that way!                    a child should be eating a basic
             who are deficient in iron can have         Food routines can also carry       version of the family’s meals –
             impaired brain and intellectual         over into adulthood. If you grew      meat, fish or chicken, vegetables,
             development which is permanent          up in a family where you all sat      fruit, bread, cereals, rice, pasta,
             and irreversible. Children who          around the television enjoying        and dairy foods. In fact a one year
             have a lower saturated fat intake       fish and chips while watching         old may eat as much or more than
             in childhood have less insulin          the rugby, chances are that as        a five-year old. This is a stage
             resistance – a key predictor for        an adult you will not sit down to     when we can feel that we have
             diabetes and heart disease.             watch the rugby with a bowl of        got it together as far as feeding
             Babies who are underweight in           carrot sticks.                        goes.
             their first two years of life and who                                            Then, around the two-year mark
             then gain weight rapidly have a         stages in                             their growth rate slows and the
             greater risk of insulin resistance      development                           ‘four-Weet-bix-a-morning’ baby
             and heart disease in adulthood.         Our role as parents is to gradually   turns into a ‘bite-of-toast’ toddler.
             Around two out of every three           introduce our children to as wide     Toddlers grow in spurts and their
             obese children will become obese        a range of foods and flavours as      appetite reflects this with days of
             adults, especially children who are     possible. Young children have         eating lots and days or weeks of
             still obese after the age of ten.       a natural preference for sweet        eating very little. We worry about
                                                     foods which throughout history        whether they are getting enough
             HoW our food                            has attracted them to energy-rich     for their needs. But children are
             Habits are formed                       foods to help them grow, and          naturally designed to eat exactly
             The food we grow up with is often       kept them away from poisonous         the amount they need. They
             the food we prefer as adults.           foods which tend to taste bitter.     regulate the quantity; it’s our job
             Think about the foods you like to       It’s why they choose grapes over      to choose the quality.
             eat; many of these will be foods        olives and carrots over broccoli.        Children don’t need to clear the
                                                                                           plate. In this age of excess food
                If you grew up in a family where you all sat                               we need children to maintain
                                                                                           their natural ability to stop when
                around the television enjoying fish and chips
                                                                                           feeling full. Forcing them to finish
                while watching the rugby, chances are that as an                           everything on the plate will even-
                adult you will not sit down to watch the rugby                             tually over-ride this important
                with a bowl of carrot sticks.                                              mechanism.

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Reprinted with permission from the September 2006 issue of Healthy Food Guide
                                                                                                              www.healthyfood.co.nz
         feature

                                                    Help! tips for WHen a CHild Won’t eat
                                                                                           no dIstractIons. Turn off
               My son spent at least a year of       ensure regular meal
                                                                                          the television. Have children stop
            his toddler-hood refusing all meat      and snack tImes. Children
                                                                                          their play and sit up at the table
                                                    respond best to a routine.
            and chicken. As he had been the                                               to eat. Meal-time is for eating,
            ‘perfect eater’ up until that time,                                           not playing.
                                                     serve chIld-sIzed
            I was in shock! I was fanatically
                                                    amounts. Big serves of food            check that chIldren
            aware of the importance of iron         are daunting to a little one.         have not fIlled up on
            for his brain development, as                                                 mIlk, fruIt juIce or snacks
            only an over-caring, nutritionally                                            just before dInner. Milk
                                                     don’t gIve up on the
            trained mother can be, and had          fIrst attempt. Children can           is more like a food than a fluid
            to use great amounts of self-           take eight to 10 tries before they    – nutritious and filling. Keep it
            control not to panic and force-         decide they like a new flavour.       for set meal and snack times.
            feed him! I tried to feed him every     A child may spit out beans at 18      Children who ‘live’ on milk can
            other source of iron possible           months and be happily dipping         miss out on important nutrients
            – iron-fortified cereal, peanut         them in tzatziki (yoghurt with        because they are too full to
            butter on wholemeal bread,              finely chopped cucumber and           eat other foods. Milk is a great
                                                    mint) at two and a half. Offer only   source of calcium, energy and
            hummus, spinach, eggs, dried
                                                    one new food at a time and serve      protein but has very little vitamin
            apricots, figs, baked beans, all
                                                    it with familiar foods.               C, iron, folate and fibre. Fruit
            served with vitamin C-rich fruit to                                           juice naturally has about three
            enhance absorption. Meanwhile                                                 teaspoons of sugar in each glass.
            I tried disguising meat in pasta         try It raw. Some kids hate          Serve it diluted with water and
            sauce, mini-meatballs, meatloaf,        cooked vegetables but will            keep for occasionally.
            tiny morsels hidden in fried rice,      happily much on raw carrot sticks,
                                                                                           have a taste-testIng
            finely sliced fillet steak delicately   cauliflower pieces, snow peas and
                                                                                          sessIon. This worked amazingly
            arranged around the plate with          green beans while you prepare
                                                                                          for a fruit-phobic five-year-old.
                                                    dinner. Who knows: they may eat
            other choice morsels. Most of my                                              Together we shopped for a
                                                    their daily vegetable quota (about
            efforts were rejected. Each time I                                            variety of fruit that he thought he
                                                    1 cup) before they even get to
            fell into frantic visions of my son’s                                         did not like but was prepared to
                                                    the dinner table!
            brain atrophying from lack of iron                                            grade with a tick or a cross after
            I reminded myself that this was a                                             trying. He sat down and very
            stage that would end. Not many           use shapes and colours.             seriously tasted a tiny morsel of
                                                    Cut fruit, cheese, bread and vege-    each one. He was completely
            15 year-old boys refuse steak.
                                                    tables into interesting shapes        free to give it a tick or a cross. His
               It is important to keep the long-
                                                    such as cubes, sticks, and circles.   mother and I asked his opinion
            term goal in mind: to get them
                                                    Arrange food on the plate to          of each and made it a fun game.
            through the toddler years without                                             There was no pressure on him to
                                                    look like a house, flower or a face
            food hang-ups. These usually                                                  eat any of the fruit as it was not
                                                    with grape eyes, grated cheese
            develop when over-concerned                                                   a meal time. To his surprise, and
                                                    hair, carrot stick mouth and baby
            parents get into food fights with       tomato nose.                          ours, he ended up giving a tick to
            their toddler, start using bribery to                                         almost every fruit.
            get them to eat so-called ‘good’                                               lead by example. Actions
            food and unwittingly help their          name It. My four-year-old           speak louder than words. If our
                                                    recently enjoyed fish, vegetables     regular lunch is a meat pie and
            kids discover that the word “No”
                                                    and a pile of mashed potato           soft drink, we can’t expect our
            can cause mummy and daddy to
                                                    because it was called “Tracy          kids to want sandwiches, fruit and
            act in very entertaining ways!
                                                    Island” from Thunderbirds.            water.


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Reprinted with permission from the September 2006 issue of Healthy Food Guide
                                                                                                             www.healthyfood.co.nz
          feature


             Holding out for
             tHe ‘good’ stuff
             – tHe poWer of no!
             Picture this: you‘ve spent hours
             preparing child friendly mini-
             meatballs in a naturally colourful
             home-made tomato sauce.
             You’ve served it imaginatively on
             the plate surrounded by a few
             green peas, beautifully carved
             carrot sticks, an artistic sprinkle of
             cheese. You place it on the table
             before your darling toddler. Her
             face screws up in a
             look of disgust. “Yuk!
                                           ministry of
             I don’t want it, I’m
                                                HealtH
             not hungry”. There
                                            guidelines
             are so many options
                                          for CHildren
             for a response here
                                            Eat many different
             from “Look, I’ve
                                                    foods
             spent hours making
                                              Eat enough for
             this” (don’t expect
                                            activity and growth
             sympathy from a                                           dinner one night, try   or vegetables out of the garden,
                                            Eat mini-meals or
             three-year-old);                                          to suppress those       if you have one. Point out inter-
                                                   snacks
             “Well, what would                                         feelings of sympathy    esting fruit and vegetables in the
                                           Have plenty to drink
             you like?” (you’re not                                    and guilt, and think    supermarket and let them choose
                                             Have treat foods
             a restaurant); “If you                                    about the long term     one to take home. Let them help
                                               now and then
             eat this, I’ll give you                                   goal. No child ever     you pat out the scones or measure
                                           Take part in regular
             ice-cream” (Bingo!                                        faded away from         out ingredients for baking. Be
                                              physical activity
             This is how to get                                        missing a meal.         prepared for some mess and the
             the sweet stuff!).                                                                odd spill. Fruit smoothie on your
                 Toddlers soon learn if refusing         strategies for                        clothes and egg shells in the cake
             a meal will get them what they              parents: HoW to                       mix is worth it if the children grow
             really want. It really is a battle of       enCourage HealtHy                     up viewing food as fun.
             control and we, the parents, need           Habits
             to win. Put the meal in the fridge          get kids involved                     make-your-own takeaways
             and re-heat when your child gets            Life is a great adventure for         Home-made takeaways are
             hungry or at the next meal-time.            young children and food can be        healthier, cheaper and fun. Try
             If it means going to bed with no            part of it. Let them pick herbs       these:
                                                                                               fish and chips:
                  Children are naturally designed to eat exactly                               Pan-fried fish with oven baked
                  the amount they need. They regulate the                                      chips.
                  quantity; it’s our job to choose the quality.                                burgers:
                                                                                               Make beef patties with lean mince

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Reprinted with permission from the September 2006 issue of Healthy Food Guide
                                                                                                                www.healthyfood.co.nz
                      and grated vegetables. Place           family meals                         and let the children help them-
                      on a burger bun and children           Eating together as a family is       selves to whatever they wish.
                      can choose from grated carrot,         important. Even if your busy         They may be tempted to try the
                      tomato, lettuce, cheese, beetroot,     schedule doesn’t allow it every      hated courgette when they see
                      and tomato sauce to top off.           night, try to have at least one      everyone else enjoying it.
                      pizza:                                 night a week where you all sit
                      Make your favourite base or for        down together to enjoy a meal.       eating out
                      toddlers use half a muffin as the      It is here that children learn the   A few weeks ago I was sitting
                      base.                                  social aspects of food: how to       with friends at a restaurant and
                      burrito:                               set the table, how to use cutlery,   asked the waiter what they had
                      Spread a warmed tortilla with          table manners, and how to chat       for children, his slightly disdainful
                      hummus, light sour cream or            over a meal rather than grunting     reply was, “Well, we don’t do
                      capsicum pesto. Roll up with           a few syllables while mesmerised     chips”. Why is it that we assume
                      your child’s choice of thinly sliced   by the television. Your children     adults can eat normal healthy
                      cooked chicken, avocado, tomato,       will see how you eat and what        food but children need chips
                      grated cheese, grated carrot and       you eat. This is a good chance       when they go out? Choose inter-
                      shredded lettuce.                      to give children more control        esting foods from the main menu
                                                             over what they eat: place the        and ask for child sizes if possible.
                                                             food on the table buffet-style       At the restaurant in question




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Reprinted with permission from the September 2006 issue of Healthy Food Guide
                                                                                                                    www.healthyfood.co.nz
          feature


             we ended up ordering mozza-
             rella salad – kids love the mild          sample menu for a toddler
             flavour – and shared a pasta dish.
                                                       breakfast
             Other ideas are risotto, fried rice,      ½ cup porridge, or 1 Weet-bix with milk
             noodles, eggs, breads and dips.           1 piece toast with butter and honey
                                                       Drink of dilute juice or a few slices of orange or kiwifruit
             building strong bones
                                                       mornIng tea
             Calcium is essential for young
                                                       Small banana muffin or carrot and nut cake
             growing bodies and dairy foods            Small glass of milk
             (milk, yoghurt and cheese) are the
             best source of this bone-building         lunch
             nutrient. The Ministry of Health          Egg sandwich on wholemeal bread
                                                       ½ apple
             recommends that children under
                                                       Drink of water
             the age of five drink 500ml (about
             two cups) of milk each day. This          afternoon tea
             should be full-fat milk up until the      Peanut butter on slice of bread or crackers
             age of two.                               3 seedless grapes
               If your child does not like to          Drink of water
             drink large glasses of milk, try          dInner
             these calcium-rich food ideas.            Lean mince with 2-3 vegetables sprinkled with cheese
             • Sprinkle cheese on food                 ½ cup rice or pasta
             • Spread a thin layer of vegemite         ½ cup of milk pudding or ½ carton of yoghurt
             on old bread, slice into fingers,
             sprinkle with cheese and bake
             until crisp for crunchy crackers                                                food. Fatty build-up in the arteries
             • Yoghurt                              do toddlers                              does start in childhood so if you
             • Custard                              need loW fat?                            are concerned about your child’s
             • Milk puddings                        No. A toddler’s body needs fat to        fat intake, first concentrate on
             • Rice pudding                         grow and develop. It provides the        limiting fatty takeaways and fried
             • Smoothies and milkshakes             fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E.         foods, rather than reducing milk.
             • Make porridge with milk instead      It also provides essential fats that     And encourage healthy fats from
             of water                               the body can’t make including            fish, vegetable oils, nuts, peanut
             • Add milk to soups, mashed            one called DHA which is essential        butter (choose no added salt or
             potato, mince                          for a baby’s brain and retinal           sugar), seeds, grainy bread and
             • For non-dairy calcium foods try      visual function.                         wholegrain cereals.
             sardines, nuts, eggs, wholegrains         After age two, children can
             and legumes.                           drink reduced-fat milk so long as        Can my CHild Have
                                                    they are eating a good variety of        too muCH fibre?
                                                                                             Fibre helps keep children’s bowels
                  After age two, children can drink reduced-fat                              regular, prevents over-eating
                  milk so long as they are eating a good variety of                          leading to obesity and keeps
                                                                                             cholesterol and blood sugar levels
                  food. Fatty build-up in the arteries does start in
                                                                                             normal. The best way to ensure
                  childhood.                                                                 enough fibre is to give your
                                                                                             children a wide variety of
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Reprinted with permission from the September 2006 issue of Healthy Food Guide
                                                                                                               www.healthyfood.co.nz
             fruit, vegetable and wholegrains
             – not too much though, or they
             will be so full they won’t be able
             to eat enough food for their rapid
             growth needs.
                Toddlers need about two
             pieces of fruit and a cup of vege-
             tables each day, as well as about
             four serves of breads and cereals.
             The sample menu on page 38
             shows how to fit this into a child’s
             eating pattern.

             Water
             Water is the best fluid for both
             adults and children. Our body is
             70% water and if we don’t top it
             up each day we can feel tired,
             and suffer headaches, dry skin
             and constipation. There is no
             exact amount recommended
             for children but it’s a good idea
             to get children into the habit of
             drinking water regularly. Teach
             children to drink even when not
             thirsty as by the time they feel
             thirsty they are well on the way
             to dehydration. A well hydrated
                                                        Teach children to drink even when not thirsty
             child will have pale urine.                as by the time they feel thirsty they are well
               Encourage children with small,           on the way to dehydration.




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Reprinted with permission from the September 2006 issue of Healthy Food Guide
                                                                                                             www.healthyfood.co.nz
         feature
                                                                     start as you mean to go on!
                                                                     My seventy year old father-in-             anyone and certainly indulged
                                                                     law grew up in a raupo hut on              his fair share of beer as a young
            frequent drinks of water. Keep
                                                                     the edge of Ohiwa Harbour.                 man – he has never been in
            cordial and fruit juice for occa-
                                                                     His grandmother weaned him                 hospital, takes no medication,
            sional drinks and always serve
                                                                     on kumara and puha mashed                  had all his teeth until age 69
            diluted. Always take a water                             together in her mouth. His staple          (despite minimal dentist visits)
            bottle when going out, order                             diet as a child and teenager was           and is physically and mentally
            water when eating out and serve                          fish, eels, herrings, kumara, puha,        fit and energetic. In contrast,
            water with snacks and meals.                             kanga-wai (fermented corn),                his brothers who were raised on
                                                                     pikopiko (fern fronds) and for             a more usual diet for their era
            reCipe for littlies:                                     special occasions eggs, pork and           including sugar, cakes and fried,
            Carrot and nut Cake                                      chicken. Sugar was a rare treat            salty foods are either dead or
            This is an adaptation of a NZ                            and there was no salt.                     physically ailing. He attributes
                                                                        Although his adult diet has             his good health to his childhood
            Women’s Weekly recipe. The oil
                                                                     been typical New Zealand – he              diet more than good luck, good
            and walnuts provide important
                                                                     loves fish and chips as much as            genes or good management.
            unsaturated fat and omega-3 fats.
            Even toddlers will eat this cake,
                                                                                                                                        per serve % day
            including the ginger! Give it a try!                 cinnamon ½ teaspoon                             Energy                 1055kJ 12%
                                                                 mixed spice ½ teaspoon                                                 (252cals)
            eggs 2                                                                                               Protein                4.2g      4%
                                                                                                                 Fat                    14.6g 22%
            oil ½ cup                                            Beat eggs, oil and sugar in a food              - saturated            2.2g      10%
            brown sugar 1 cup                                    processor. Add carrot, sultanas,                Carbohydrates          26.2g 9%
            grated carrot 2 cups (more is OK)                    ginger and walnuts. Blend for                   - sugars               18.9g 23%
                                                                                                                 Fibre                  1.6g      5%
            sultanas ½ cup                                       about 10 seconds. Add remaining                 Sodium                 100mg 6%
            crystallized ginger ½ cup                            dry ingredients. Blend for 30                   Calcium                40mg 4%
            chopped                                              seconds until well mixed. Pour                  Iron                   1.0mg 6%
            walnuts 1 cup, chopped                               into cake tin lined with baking                 *see page 42 for details
            self-raising flour 1 cup                             paper. Bake at 170ºC for 50-60                       for sources of information for
                                                                                                                      this article see page 95 or
            baking soda 1 teaspoon                               minutes.                        HFG                  www.healthyfood.co.nz
                                                                 serves 12




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Reprinted with permission from the September 2006 issue of Healthy Food Guide
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