By Rosemary Marchese
Physiotherapist and mum of 3 fit kids
How to get your kids off junk
My kids eat no junk. Only kidding! Seriously, that’s next to impossible these days. Now, you don’t only have to fight the TV commercials but the social media and the ‘Kids’ Menu’ in restaurants. I’m sorry but when did it become ‘normal’ to serve up crappy nuggets and fatty chips to kids while I indulge in a delicious salmon with a fabulous salad on the side? It’s a battle mums face every day! And I’m no different.
So, would I say my kids are healthy? Yes, pretty healthy. Fit? Yes, pretty fit. But it has to be realistic. But keeping up the ‘healthy eating’ habits can be tough. Here’s what I do to try to minimise the junk, while keeping it real.
My tips from my household:
- Introduce foods that they are not used to in a different way. For example if they don’t love celery then throw a little of the green stuff into a smoothie or juice and see how you go. Small steps.
- Get kids to help with making food. Let them watch and enjoy the process~
- Don’t be scared to take your kids grocery shopping…but choose your shops wisely. I’d prefer to take my kids to the Grower’s markets where you will expect to see less crap and more fresh stuff, than to the local supermarket where the junk food options are coming to you like missiles.
- Fill them up them healthy options. Afternoon snacks of fruit, veges, cheese and homemade hummus are so much better than a packet of chips.
- Avoid the ‘treat’ in the school lunch box. I see parents get really get all hot and heavy about their ‘right’ to put a treat in the school lunch box (and yes, I do this from time to time) but hear me out. The more often you do this the more likely it is that they will avoid the healthy food. You are giving your kids a ‘sweet tooth’ and they will get used to it.
- Get over yourself. Um, yep. Lots of us get sucked into offering treats for that whole ‘Mum, you’re the best’ response rather than the whinge and whine. Far out, it’s hard work, but someone has to do it.
- Recognise that you’re a parent, and you are here to help them to grow up healthy and strong. Not many kids will opt for a healthy option if you don’t help them develop the taste buds for it.
Rose is a Fit Busy Mum of 3 fit kids. She aims to empower mums who are time poor. She acknowledges that mums are ‘busy’ but tries to inspire them to regain their fitness through simple everyday habits that she promotes through her book ‘The Fit Busy Mum: Seven habits for success’