You’re not alone. According to a recent survey*, 75% of us parents worry whether our children’s meals are nutritional enough.
If you’ve started the New Year with a fresh approach to getting your family eating healthier, we’ve uncovered all you need to know, to start feeling more in control!
Making sure we, and our growing children get the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables, a day can seem like a daunting task. But, by swapping unhealthy sugary snacks, like chocolate bars, crisps and sweets, for a tasty fruit salad, is just one easy way of doing this. Also by reducing tea-time portions of family favourite dishes and piling plates with salad and fresh veg (this should take up a third of our plates) will also fill up hungry tummies, with green goodness and brain-fuel!
Too much salt
Did you know that too much salt can raise blood pressures and lead to heart disease and strokes? As salt is in 75% of the everyday food we eat (like cereals, bread and ready meals), it’s time to start checking those labels and enjoying home-cooking from scratch, to ensure we know exactly what we and our children are eating.
The recommended daily salt intake for children is 2g for 1-3 year olds, 3g for 4-6 year olds, 5g for 7-10 year olds and 6g for all those aged 11 and over.
Sugar? I’m sweet enough
With the recent discussions on sugar tax, the sweet stuff has firmly been thrown into the spotlight. But, just how much is too much? In the last year alone, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), which advises Public Health England on nutrition, found that many of us consume at least double the recommended daily limit, with the main culprits being; sweetened drinks, cereal, confectionery, fruit juice, and sugar added at the table. The experts suggest we only require 5% of our daily energy intake to come from sugar, which is the equivalent of five sugar cubes for 4-6 year olds, six sugar cubes for 7 to 10 year olds, and seven sugar cubes for 11 year olds onwards. Not only is cutting back, better for our health, but also our teeth too!
Breakfast: the most important meal of the day
Over the last few years, many local schools have introduced breakfast clubs, to make sure our children start the day properly, fully alert and are ready for a day of learning. It has been proven that children and teenagers who eat breakfast have more energy, do better in school and will make healthier food choices throughout the day. If your morning breakfast routine feels chaotic, have a chat to your child’s school, about their low-cost breakfast clubs!
*Survey by Little Dish (a healthy children’s chilled food brand) in 2014.