Tag Archive | diet

Where does meat come in your children’s education!

I was already aware that eating meat is having a detrimental impact on the health of the planet.

But I was totally uneducated as to why or the scale of it until I saw this programme: ‘Meat: A Threat To Our Planet?’ on BBC1.

Read the review in inews

This amazing and disturbing programme has put me right and probably should be part of everyone’s education. Well worth a watch.

We know our eating habits have a huge impact on our individual health. But perhaps we’ve all been less aware how those habits impact on our planetary health and our CHILDREN’S FUTURE because of it.

Encouraging the youngsters to learn about and know themselves should be part of any education and understanding where their food comes from and how it affects them is part of this. This is the only way they – and you – can make informed choices about enjoying food and nutrition in ways that are SUSTAINABLE and of least threat to the planet, as all of our lifestyle habits need to be. So help them learn what this really means.

After all, it is the children who will be living on it when we are gone. So it is nothing less than our duty to establish habits and understanding as families now, that protect the planet from growing threats. There cannot surely be any part of education more important than how to sustain life; theirs, all others, and the planet on which they all depend.

We’re all making important changes, like reducing our use of plastic for example, but this is a change that receives less coverage and the programme helps us see other valuable changes we can make to help keep the planet going for our children.

Are you neglecting part of your child’s education?

We love our kids. We lavish care and attention on them, buy them treats, take them places, see to their education and welfare. That’s our responsibility as parents.

So if we’re taking that responsibility seriously, why then is obesity becoming an epidemic?

I know that’s a sensitive and contentious question. No one wants to point the blame at anyone. Parents have enough of that.

But I look at it this way; we would consider it total neglect if we did not educate our kids in the skills of reading and maths for example. Yet we don’t see it as neglect when we fail to educate them in the skills of maintaining a healthy weight, and teach them through our own demonstration.

I’m raising this issue after watching this shocking report on Inside Out East about Type 2 Diabetes and how, in many cases, it leads to surgery which could have been preventable. It’s here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07zcmx3/inside-out-east-24102016

It’s a subject that has had much coverage around the news to raise awareness of this growing problem. (Read more here)

I also live in one of the poorer areas like those in the programme where there are almost more people who are obese than otherwise, and I can see the size of the problem, if you’ll forgive the pun.

When you are surrounded by people who are all similar to you, you begin to see this as the norm; it becomes a cultural norm, you begin to think it doesn’t matter as everyone seems to be overweight – it must be okay. And it’s all too easy to over indulge when fast food, buns, cakes, chips and chocolate leap out and tempt you at every turn. I should know; I have a dangerously sweet tooth that’s very difficult to manage!

But it does matter and when it comes to causing harm to our kids no one can take the responsibility other than ourselves as parents and mentors. I agree that companies cash in on our weaknesses. But they can only do that if we comply; the ultimate responsibility lies with us.

According to the report people are having amputations that could have been prevented by taking some of that responsibility. Is that what we’re leading our kids towards too?

What’s it worth to develop a lifestyle that avoids such dire consequences?

Kids do what we do. Whilst they’re kids we have an opportunity to lay down some fundamental habits that set them up for life. You cannot control them forever. But you can give them a good start – you have, in this case, to practice what you preach. Be what you want them to become – that’s the most influential way. Words don’t work as well as actions.

The habits you cultivate in your family now are the ones that will impact on your children the most, whilst they are children. After that it’s up to them.

But habits of lifestyle and habits of learning are equally important subjects of an education. And are surely all part of the duty we share to facilitate a future for our kids that is happy, healthy and wise.

Sugar Rush

Heck – I’m shocked! I thought I ate healthily but now realise I’m consuming far too much sugar. 

It was watching Jamie Oliver’s programme Sugar Rush that shocked me into looking at my planned consumption for today.

I’d perhaps start with muesli and granola which I know contains some sugar but I was unaware of how much, especially in relation to the amount recommended we should have – no more than four teaspoons per day. It would be easy with some cereals to eat more than that in one meal! I need to re-plan.

If not salad, I might have a small sandwich or Peanut Butter on toast for lunch. Apparently, both that and the bread contain sugar. And I’d planned a vegetable curry for tonight to which I may add a little jar of Korma sauce but discovered that this too is loaded with sugar. And there was me thinking it was okay to have a Kit-Kat this afternoon because I hadn’t had any sugar today.

Think again!

I thought we ate fairly healthily in this house. But the programme has raised my awareness of the dangers of hidden sugars that we unwittingly eat, and that’s without having sugary fizzy drinks which are the worst offenders. However some ‘fruit juices’ and flavoured ‘water’ can be equally harmful if you consume a lot.

But the worst news of all is what hidden sugars are doing to the children.

We think as parents we’re doing our best by our kids encouraging a reasonable diet. But Jamie shows how these ‘hidden’ sugars are sneaking into what we thought would be healthy. And how they are damaging enough on our kids’ teeth and weight, even without giving them any added sugary treats in the form of sweets. So we need to be even more vigilant than we are.

But what is absolutely criminal is to be consciously giving them such a sugar full diet of junk food, sweets, cola and other soda drinks to the extent of what was illustrated in the programme.

Apparently one of the biggest demands for surgery on children is not the removal of tumours, organs or other consequences of terrible diseases, it is the preventable procedure required to pull out rotten teeth. How shocking is that?

And apparently there are more lower limbs removed from (mostly preventable) obesity people in later years, who have developed Type Two Diabetes from a sugar high diet, than there are from soldiers injured in combat and war.

It is a terrifying prospect. Jamie was shocked by what he found. I’m shocked.

You should watch the programme (on All4). It needs discussing with the family. And the family’s eating habits examining, plus an investigation into how much hidden sugar in processed, ready-made food you’re all eating; it’s part of their education. And the sugary drinks need keeping to a minimum and maybe some serious changes making.

Otherwise one of our family members could become one of those startling statistics.

It’s going to be quite a trial to keep my eye on what I’m eating during the day. But I am determined, for I want it to be the case that I choose when to have sugar and am not consuming it in total ignorance.

We all need to do the same both for ourselves and for our kids.

After watching Jamie’s report, how could we not?

Teach them everyday food habits

Isn’t food info confusing? You think you’re guiding the children towards a healthy habit of eating then new research comes along and challenges it and you find it’s not so healthy after all.

I watched the programme; ‘Trust me, I’m a doctor’ last night and discovered that several of the habits I thought were healthy turn out not to be!

One was the idea of using healthy oils, like sunflower or vegetable oils, to cook with as an alternative to the demonised butter. On the programme it showed that some of these oils. although okay in the cold state like perhaps in salad dressing, were quite unhealthy once cooked as the heating process released harmful substances.

The other surprise was to do with organic food. There is no doubt that growing organic food is far, far better for the environment. But tests they’d conducted for the programme showed that in view of our personal health, the fact that veg were organically grown or not made little difference.

One good piece of news for me was that the claims made about the health benefits of the extortionately priced Manuka honey were just a con. The cheap brands, which are all I can afford, were just as beneficial. Excellent – I always had my suspicions anyway, being aware of selling hype.

One of the benefits of having the children learning at home with you is that you can plan meals, talk about nutrition, shop for, cook and eat together and incorporate a healthy approach to food choices and eating into your everyday habits.

It is these lifestyle habits and routines established at home with you, in particular what and how you parents eat, that influences the children in the long run. Your attitudes inform theirs really. And learning how to feed themselves well is an essential aspect of education.

Okay so they might dodge into a fast food chain occasionally, especially when they’re teens, but we don’t have to be perfect. The best we can do is be conscious and educate them to be aware. To discuss, to develop healthy habits and to educate them to the idea that the fuel we put in our bodies affects not only our physical health, our heart and other organs, stamina and muscle tone, but also our mental and emotional health too. It’s worth being conscious of it.

Just as I am conscious that too much chocolate is bad for me, despite my desire for it. And I might even get around to trying the method they suggest in the programme to wean me from it!

That’s going to take one helluva lot of imagining…!