Food for Thought

The Bad News:       Nearly one in four children is obese or overweight when they start primary school and one in three is too fat by the time they leave, according to official figures.Lisa Cooney, head of education for the World Cancer Research Fund, said: ‘These latest figures are a real cause for concern. This is because research has shown that the more overweight a child is, the more likely it is they will be overweight as an adult. This is important for cancer because scientists now say that, after not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight is the most important thing we can do for cancer prevention.’

The Good News:    A study carried out for the School Food Trust (SFT), set up by the government, found those eating school meals were more likely to eat vegetables and fruit and less likely to snack on chocolate or crisps. Chef takes a lot of care over preparing the nursery meals and planning the menus ahead. The children enjoy a varied diet which avoids fatty and sugary foods – and they love it!

When talking about parents who send their school-age children to school with packed lunch, Judy Hargadon, chief executive of the SFT, said: ‘A lunch at school offers a child more opportunities to try different foods, more choice and is a lot less hassle,’ Anita Bean, a nutritionist and author of Healthy Eating For Kids said that parents should revert to methods of the past: ‘The old-fashioned rule of just eating what was put in front of you seems to have waned. The children shouldn’t get into the habit of rejecting food, which gives them power and control. Don’t let them demand food.’

So there you have it: Let the children eat lunch at nursery or school and don’t give into them over their food and your children will learn to eat healthily.

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