Can childhood obesity be ascribed to ‘bad’ parenting, or is it a sign of modern times? It seems that nowadays, children are much chubbier than I can remember when Dave’s children were younger. A few years ago I had a client who came to me because her three year old child ate nothing but chips. I lay the blame entirely with her, as she had only ever fed the child a plate of chips (french fries) when they ate a meal and so the child thought this to be normal eating behaviour. In the same period of time I had another client who told me her child insisted on sweets (candies) every afternoon at 4. I asked her why she didn’t give him a piece of fruit to eat, and she told me he didn’t eat fruit. Well, here was another child, 5 years old, who had learnt bad eating behaviour. I have friends who consider it normal for their children to eat deep fried food, snack on crisps and sweets and eat pancakes as a meal. Popcorn, biscuits (cookies) and chocolate are considered meals. Coupled with this is the fact that children are in school for long hours, their playtime consists of sitting in front of a TV or computer and basically, children are leading sedentary lifestyles. Many adults I know do not exercise at all, and I constantly read about people who have weight problems. The long term health issues for overweight children is a concern. It is unhealthy, and can have a severe impact on all aspects of a persons life. My attitude is rather now than later, and so I work at maintaining my weight. Putting on 1kg to me is not acceptable, and means watching my eating until the weight has shifted. I know that the older I get, the easier it is to put on weight, and the harder it is to lose it. Getting back to my original query about children – I know that kids are always hungry. I have watched 4 boys eat a dozen bread rolls each in a day. But I also know, that even though kids want to snack, they can snack on foods that are healthy for them – vegetables, fruit and my ever faithful hummus. This can be made and left in the fridge, for kids to use as a dip for vegetables, or even to eat by the spoonful.
Do you battle with weight issues?
All I do for this is blitz up a tin of chickpeas (drained), with a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of tahini, a squeeze of lemon juice and a garlic clove, and enough olive oil to bind it all together.