The disturbing rise in obesity in children is an indictment on the way in which we live in modern times. Children are dependents, reliant upon the adult world to develop them into healthy grown up human beings, both physically and mentally.
I have written so many articles about children, the welfare of children, the health of children, the emotions of children, and the generalities of making kids happy, not scared of life and unable to cope with the way they themselves must live in our adult world.
Sometimes I want to get hold of errant parents by the scruff of their necks and shake them until their teeth rattle, when I see nice, balanced and responsive kids being damaged by moronic men and women who should be taken out and shot when it comes to child care.
Many of the problems of diet in our children arise from the parents inabilities in the kitchen, it is true. Admittedly modern life makes few allowances for spending several hours in the kitchen in the evenings and over weekends, especially if both parents are working.
Unfortunately, school meals are not always up to standard in terms of efficient nourishment as TV Chef Jamie Oliver recently proved. However, school dinners in the United Kingdom have recently undergone a change following Jamie Oliver's crusade for healthy menus for children and well done to him.
It is widely accepted nowdays that children who eat healthily find it easier to concentrate during lessons retain information throughout the school day. It is important, then, that this climate of healthy eating is maintained at home.
The problem is that so many parents can not cook for themselves, let alone for a hungry family. The result is that very few fresh ingredients find their way into our children's digestive systems, and very few proper nutrients. Well, sorry folks, but you are just going to have to learn some new skills if you want to raise healthy kids.
Processed foods are more popular now than ever before for obvious reasons, but there is no reason why our children should suffer as a result of their parent's busy lifestyles. Any fool can boil broccoli and other fresh vegetables, so try it. Also, try serving your child nice tasty salads with their burgers and fries, and then gently ease off on the fries if your kid is already a grease addict.
Children need carbohydrates and fats to grow healthily. There is no need to cut out bread, potatoes etc for a child, just encourage them to eat fresh vegetables along with the stodge. A little exercise each day is imperative for kids who are eating high calorie menus, so get them out walking the dog if they have a dislike for sport at school. In fact, go with them if you can.
Try learning to make simple one pot meals. Some of the recipes widely available on the web nowdays are free to download and easy to do. Kids love to get involved, so try to recruit their interest in the kitchen and lessen their access to potato chips and sweet stuff like chocolate gradually.
Above all, do it all cheerfully, and never introduce new foods with even a hint of criticism like a punishment, because no child likes to be pushed onto new food and certainly not because they are overweight. Take it all light but in a determined way and you will find the child responds favourably.