Ok so I missed World Digestive Health day (May 29th) but I still think the message is relevant any day of the year.
I never heard about the first 1,000 days of life before and the importance of healthy early nutrition but to be fair common sense tells me that H shouldn’t be stuffing chocolates and biscuits all day (try telling H that!)
So without stating the obvious healthy early nutrition is essential in helping to reduce the levels of childhood obesity and digestive health problems both now and in generations to come, it is a very sad fact but globally the level of childhood obesity is increasing and there are more children overweight in Europe than any other continent.
So below are just some simple tips, in some cases they are obvious but a reminder never hurts anyone and as mentioned before keep an eye on my blog for some collaborative work coming up with a very healthy blogger, we will work on some ‘snacks’ and meals for children that are simple and hopefully very tasty!
The first thing is you have to make food exciting, particularly healthy food, the multi billion pound sweet/snack/chocolate industry know exactly how to market their product to catch your little persons eye and imagination, so you need to step it up and present your fruit and veg like you have a multi billion pound marketing budget!!! Nutrition and fun haven’t always walked hand in hand!
Ensuring that the right things are going into your children doesn’t have to be a mundane task, and using these tips is just the start of a positive and healthier lifestyle:
- What you put in is what you get out (literally) – The risk of being overweight or obese starts before a baby is even born. Pregnant women who consume unhealthy foods containing excess amounts of sugar and fat are more likely to have overweight children and develop associated health problems. Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy lowers this risk, and creates a healthier start for your baby and a healthier life for you.
- Swapping sugary snacks for ones that are lower in sugar – Swapping to a healthier option, such as water, or fresh juice instead of sugary drinks can make a huge difference to children’s calorie intake. Not just that, but it’s also better for their teeth – H only ever drinks water or milk, even if we go out he will ask for water, he doesn’t even contemplate squash or fizzy drinks.
- Providing your baby with breast milk will give them the best source of nutrients and help to reduce the risk of infection, digestive diseases and obesity but if breast feeding is not possible then using a low protein formula milk is the best alternative. Healthy nutrition in the first 1000 days of life, including breast milk or low protein formula milk and foods low in sugar will help protect your health, your children and future generations.
OK I have put this in but I will say and say this very strongly it is up to the individual mother whether you breastfeed or not. H was formula fed and it has done him no harm, always remember it is what is right for you and your baby!!
- Snack check – Many snacks are full of things that aren’t necessarily good for us – sugar, salt, fat and calories. So try and keep a careful eye on how many snacks the kids are having. Try and keep count of how many sweets, crisps, and biscuits are being consumed. Keeping count means you’re more likely to cut down – which is good for your kids and for your pocket too.
I am interested to hear from my followers on any suggestions for childhood healthy eating? What do you do to make your child pick healthy food over sweets and crisps etc? How do you deal with peer pressure from school etc? I would love to hear.
If you are looking for some further information please do visit the United European Gastroenterology for more information about digestive health – you can enter their website here