As an overweight child I was the odd one out at school, back in the 70’s, there weren’t many overweight kids like me, but sadly childhood obesity is rarely out of the news these days.
We hear about government drives and incentives but so far, their effects are rather underwhelming.
We have an obesity epidemic, with more and more children being diagnosed as Type 2 Diabetic and ever-increasing numbers of youngsters reported with anxiety and depression, and all of this despite NHS drives and medicine!
If we wait any longer, we will all be sick!
Us mums need to take control and make a stand in our kitchens and on our family’s dinner plates!
So what can you do to make a stand against obesity in your family?
Know your enemy
For the last 40-50 years we have been told that saturated fat is making us fat causing heart disease, high cholesterol and other nasties, and that instead we should be including more fiber in our diets. So wholemeal breads, pastas, breakfast cereals etc – in fact as long as it’s brown it’s healthy!
This is WRONG!
Sugar is the enemy!
Even heart surgeons are now admitting that sugar is a far greater threat than fat has ever been!
Always remember, wherever we find sugar in nature we will be sure to find fibre. This is why an apple is ok but apple juice is not, because with the juice all of the fibre (the healthy bit) is removed so now you are just having the sugar part.
If your children drink a lot of fizz and fruit juice this is a great place to start, but be aware, they may find going without tough, sugar is such an addictive substance! You may notice they get headaches and flu like symptoms, yes its that bad!
Being aware of the sugar that you and your family are consuming is also key – look at ketchup, sauces, breads, yoghurts, soups, salads, yoghurt drinks, and even water!
Top tip: Check the kids flavoured or vitamin water before you buy it next time, some have as much sugar as a can of coke!
Start their day on the right foot
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for children. A breakfast that is mostly protein with some good fats and some slow-release carbs will see them through to lunchtime without feeling hungry.
Those little brains need their breakfast to get them fired up. Keeping their blood sugar stable like this will help them concentrate and work at school.
Eggs are ideal: omelet, scrambled, dippy (with soldiers – our fav!) however they like them, a bowl of porridge, chopped fruit and natural yoghurt.
It was only clever marketing by Kelloggs that got us believing the only way to start the day was with a bowl of sugary cornflakes!
Cook REAL food!
I would never call myself a good cook but over the years I have made it my business to learn. Cooking simple dishes from scratch means avoiding hidden sugar and salt in your food.
Bolognese is a great example, it takes no more time to add in tomatoes, herbs, etc than it does to open a jar. It only takes a few extra minutes to cook from scratch than pierce a packet and stick it in the microwave but by making the sauce ourselves we are saving the extra sugar and salt added by the manufactures.
The simple fact is that when you choose convenience foods you are handing the choice of what your family eats over to the food companies who put all sorts in to keep the cost down and the taste up. (Remember the Tesco horse meat scandal, no-one was expecting to find that in their lasagna!).
Be vigilant if you do use convenience foods. Start reading the labels and keep a close eye on the sugar and salt.
Here are a few other quick-cooking tips…
- Make your own sweet treats such as cakes, at least you will know what is going in them!
- Batch cook one day a week.
- Buy a slow cooker – walking in from work with a family to feed and having it prepared is worth its weight in gold!
- Teach your children to cook.
- Save takeaways as a treat once a month and convenience foods like pizza to a maximum of once a week.
- Make a treat just that, something that you savour and enjoy occasionally not something that you survive on!
- Go for meat, fish and veg most days!
These three simple changes could mean the difference of a slim future full of health and happiness or an overweight future full of sickness and misery.
It’s not much fun being an overweight child, and I doubt being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at 14 or having to ask for an extension on your plane seat belt is either. But that is what our children are going through and with a projection that 90% of children will be obese by 2050 if we don’t make a stand against obesity for our children now who will??
It’s time to take a stand again obesity. Let’s do it for our children and our children’s children!
ABOUT KIM RAINE
Kim Raine is a Life Coach and Health Mentor with over 13 years of experience working with women to reduce anxiety, overcome burnout, get on top of stress, lose weight, sleep better and live healthier happier lives.
She is also co-host of the Living Your Legacy podcast.
Get her free Lose Your First 7lbs Blueprint with over 15 family-friendly recipes designed to increase your energy, balance your hormones and help you lose weight over at https://kimrainewellbeing.com/loseyourfirst7/