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Share your views on healthy and balanced diets – you could win a £200 Love2Shop voucher NOW CLOSED

(103 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 25-Mar-14 09:39:45

We all know that there is a lot of advice out there on how to go about having a 'healthy' and 'balanced' diet, but at times it can feel like a bit of a mine field. So, we'd love to hear about your thoughts and experiences on knowing what the right foods are to feed you and your family.

Below are a few points to get you started, but feel free to add any other comments you have:
- When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?
- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

Everyone who adds a comment will be entered into a prize draw to win a £200 Love2Shop voucher.

Thanks, and good luck!
MNHQ

AndHarry Tue 25-Mar-14 10:09:37

I'm not into dieting but I still feel bombarded with faux-information. I see so much chatter about carbohydrates being bad/not the right sort when the 'official' advice is that they should be a third of a plate that I do wonder what I should be doing.

Feeding my family healthily is important to me and I try to use common sense: small plates, plenty of fruit and vegetables, cooking from raw ingredients, protein and carbohydrates for growth and energy. I do feel fairly confident and try to ignore the diet chatter but it does make me worry sometimes that I'm inadvertently getting it wrong. I periodically check the healthy start leaflets from my children's nurseries and I think I'm on the right track.

Tyranasaurus Tue 25-Mar-14 11:45:23

- When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

Not really. One thing I did find confusing at the time was the messages I had on how long to breastfeed for. The breastfeeding exclussively for 6 months tends to come accross as only breastfeed for 6 months and the cows milk is OK after a year comes accross as you only need to breastfeed for a year

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

Yes- I know what healthy foods are and how to cook them

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

Books/google

Roseformeplease Tue 25-Mar-14 11:57:23

When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

I am not at all confused as I feel that I know what to avoid and what to eat plenty of. However, the media seems constantly bewildered with conflicting advice - particularly "eat this to avoid cancer" and "don't eat that to avoid cancer". I think a lot of the advice is "scares" to sell newspapers. I worry most about sugar and the amount of refined sugar and carbohydrates that we eat.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

Yes, I feel pretty confident. We don't buy any processed food at all and everything is cooked from scratch. We make our own bread and don't eat puddings or sweet treats very often. There are always vegetables or salad in the house and the children have boiled eggs and toast or omelettes for breakfast - removing one meal that can be very sugar heavy. Because our baseline eating is very good, I am fairly relaxed about going out and having coffee and a cake every now and then. My daughter bakes once or twice a month and we all look forward to it. We don't eat sweets or chocolates very often so, when they are given some or buy some, that's fine.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family

I read the "Times" which provides a fairly good and usually balanced view of the latest research or information. I read all the right books when the children were small and they were weaned on Annabel Karmel (sp?) Nowadays, I rely on the internet, recipe books and friends a little bit but we are really pretty happy with the way we eat.

Avoiding middle aged spread, even where your diet is healthy - now that would be something I would like to know about!

TheJumped Tue 25-Mar-14 13:14:22

- When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

I don't feel confused personally, as I take time to research healthy food choices for myself and my family. But I have to actively seek this out, if I trusted the supermarkets or even the current government healthy eating advice we'd be eating very unhealthily, be tired, overweight, puffy and have no energy. The lack of government belief and backing in high protein, low carb lifestyles and its continued push to sugary cereals and butter substitutes is a real irritant for me. I try to cook from scratch always and base meals around a protein, whether that's meat, fish, eggs, cheese or pulses. Then I add veg and some carbs. I get veg and meat boxes delivered weekly from Abel and Cole which challenge me to be creative. Their recipe cards included in every box are always excellent and inspiring.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

Yes I feel very confident in this. See above. I would also add that I did baby led weaning, which has helped me get off to a great start with attitudes to eating - I see it as my job to dish up healthy food, whether my toddler eats it or not. Often not, but I honestly don't stress about it! I never serve up bland or processed food to make him eat. And it cheeses me off when my MiL serves him a massive bowl of custard, I mean really?! I feel like my generation have. Very different attitude to food for children (as in not stuff them as full of carbs as possible then magically expect them to eat a wide and varied diet when they are older) but I do meet many mums who still think like that. There is lots of wisdom in the BLW books and one stands out - that we have a society full of food, so they won't starve. It upsets me to see children cajoled into eating, especially at nurseries and preschools where they should be up to date with healthy eating and healthy attitudes to eating.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

Instinct really. I did 'Atkins' about ten years ago and although I don't do it now, it revolutionised the way I think about food. Centring meals around a protein wherever possible - but we do have a rich creamy pasta or huge homemade pizza at least once a week too! I love the recipes in my Abel and Cole boxes and watch Saturday Kitchen - I also like Pinterest for random viral recipes. If I want to cook scones or cake or biscuits, I just google and usually end up on the BBC website.

One more thing to add - water only in our house, no juice, fizzy drinks or squash. No need.

Cherryjellybean Tue 25-Mar-14 13:27:20

- When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
I don't find anything confusing, that I can think of.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?
For main meals I feel confident. I usually have at least 3 types of vegetables in our evening meal, a bit of carbs, protein etc too. I should cook sauces from scratch more, I only know a few recipes for sauces.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.
I look online for healthy recipes. I could do with looking for more healthy snacks, the unhealthy ones are always so much cheaper in the shops and easier.

WowOoo Tue 25-Mar-14 13:34:57

I don't find anything confusing really.

I aim for balance, as much veg as I can can cram into our diet, fresh fruit and lots of water to drink rather than squash. I feel pretty confident.
But, I do know that I lapse a bit when we are both mega busy.

I've picked up tips over the years from reading articles, books and recipes. The ingredients themselves will tell me if something is healthy or is a treat.

telsa Tue 25-Mar-14 13:51:38

- When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
I am getting confused by all the contradictory messages coming form the media about what causes unhealthiness and obesity. Sugar is bad, saturated fasts are good etc etc. I am also a little confused about types of sugar and whether they are all equally unhealthy.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?
I am fairly confident. We cook from scratch, eat lots of vegetables, have a lot of variety. There is a fair bit of tension with DP though, who thinks all food 'scares' are nonsense. I have recently stopped buying farmed salmon because of something I read about chemical additives and he thinks that is totally stupid. He also gets them too much juice and puddings in the evening (I figure they have one at school and don't need another) - so it is not much fun not batting from the same position.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.
I have lots of cookbooks with good quality meals in them. I look online. I talk to other people.

HannahLI Tue 25-Mar-14 13:51:54

- When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
I think the advice often changes and I don't feel confused but I know other friends do feel confused. For example orange juice - it should be good for you but drink too much and it rots your teeth. Thats pretty confusing! I am confused about these so called "low fat" products that might be low in fat but are packed full of sugar. How can the supermarkets be allowed to market something like this? It makes me fearful that I am being conned in a similar way by other so called healthy products. I also dislike all of the marketing around organic products and all the misconceptions that surround this.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?
Yes I feel pretty confident my family are getting a healthy and balanced diet. I do find it difficult when my kids are bombarded with marketing and friends who don't eat good things to know how to handle the asking and begging for things I don't want in the house.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.
I go with my gut mainly. My approach is to be balanced with variety in what we eat, to think about the whole week and days as a whole within that. I cook from scratch nearly always as I then know exactly what my kids are eating and I think that helps too.

serendipity1980 Tue 25-Mar-14 14:01:47

I think it is often confusing knowing what is a healthy diet these days - we always thought we know about balance between fruit and veg, protein, carbs etc but then there is all this bad press about carbs, not eating grains etc. It makes it very hard to know what is the right thing to do for the best of my family.

I cook all meal from scratch, so I believe we are having a balanced diet, and that everything is ok in moderation. My DC love homemade biscuits and cakes but at the same time, they adore fruit! I do use the information leaflets that I'm given from health professionals and also google searches to inform me but generally I think it's just common sense about which food you should limit and which you can eat plenty of.

Madratlady Tue 25-Mar-14 16:22:45

I'm a strong believer an everything being alright in moderation. i rarely buy low fat or 'diet' foods, instead I have small amounts of things like butter, cheese, chocolate, mayo etc and try and have more fruit, veg, wholegrain things. I also try and have wholegrain bread and brown rice and pasta. I try and get at least 2 types of veg into our evening meal and a piece of fruit in lunchboxes and as snacks. I make home made food most nights. We do have treats like a cooked breakfast on a weekend, and sweets one a saturday night.

Hopefully I'll pass a sensible attitude about food onto my ds. He'll be eating pretty much whatever we eat when he's weaned, unless it's very salty or spicey or something. I don't add extra salt to food anyway.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Tue 25-Mar-14 17:09:43

When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they?
Labelling on products
Why are they confusing? they don't really make it clear if the product is healthy or not unless there is a traffic light system on it. The GDA % is only helpful if you know what the recommendations are
- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?
yes I know enough about the balance of good health to provide a good diet most of the time, although older kids do seem to have a mind of their own grin
I have stuck pretty much to this as a formula and cook with fresh ingredients avoiding processed foods as a rule although I am not fanatical about it. They do get the odd pizza and stuff from the frezer but I am pleased to see that as they are now older they do know how to make a sensible choice and often do.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

asuwere Tue 25-Mar-14 19:51:28

I don't feel confused but I can understand some people being confused by all the 'information' on labels etc. For example things that are labeled as 98% fat free but fail to indicate that they are full of sugar - some would see the fat free and assume it's 'healthy'

I'm quite confident of feeding my family healthy meals - I think portion size is also important and try to make sure that my DC understand how much they need to eat. I always make sure there is plenty of fruit and veg on offer. Obviously, this doesn't happen all the time and there is an occassional rubbish meal but the DC are aware that it is unusual.

Sparklesandglitter Tue 25-Mar-14 19:53:58

- When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

There are a lot of fads and trends for healthy eating including low fat, low carb, detox etc so it can be confusing to work out what actually is healthy and what is daddy

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

I try to feed my family health food but sometimes because of time (working full time) it can be hard to find the time to cook from scratch every day. Also although I can cook a feel dishes my culinary are limited unfortunately!

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

Honestly, I look online a lot for guidance and also go with common sense (processed sugary food bad, veggies good). I occasionally use cooking books but find it can be expensive

manfalou Tue 25-Mar-14 20:13:34

When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

Im not confused, I think everyone knows the baseline of whats good whats bad. I don't follow diets so have never given them the chance to confuse me!

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

Id like to say that he have a healthy and balanced diet but we don't, particularly ds1. He will only eat peas as a veg and will not touch fruit. He won't even try anything which can be infuriating as I know he would love most fruits. I try and cook from scratch most nights, all meals involve a hefty portion of meat as I know this is something DS1 will eat for sure. I don't however believe in the family not having the choice of crisps/chocolatey treats being in the house. Ive seen too many times parents that don't allow ANY treats that has real backfired once kids go to secondary school and then thats all they eat. Yes you can cut it out and educate them but when they get to the 'rebellious' years you really don't want them rebelling with food.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

I have to say that our HV has been very helpful regarding a healthy diet. I still am very concerned about DS1s diet but I'm happy knowing that he's eating for now and that even the littlest of something veg like is better than nothing. For us I think we just go with the basic knowledge that everyone has...try not to snack on rubbish and don't have takeaways too often. Heres to hoping his little bro keeps his good eating habits

ouryve Tue 25-Mar-14 20:33:23

- When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

I don't find anything confusing. I take the attitude that real food, free from bulking agents, sweeteners and other additives is best. It's definitely more satisfying to eat.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

For all that I know about good and healthy food and how to prepare it, my boys, both with ASD and issues around food and eating, aren't quite there yet.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

I take most "advice" with a pinch of salt, so to speak. If it even mentions low fat spreads, it goes in the recycling.

muser31 Tue 25-Mar-14 20:43:35

Im confused whether or not carbs are necessary and how many carbs - because so many people seem to disagree on this - also if saturated fats are good or bad.

i don't feel as confident as i wish about providing healthy food because my dd (toddler) is very fussy and so i end up giving her things that aren't so healthy. also healthy food and snacks are more expensive and im on a budget.

i just go online and have acquired quite a lot of info about how to eat healthy. its actually doing it thats the problem

I have a selection of dietary needs to consider in my family, I have taken the time to do as much research as I can to gain information and be able to confidently provide balance and good nutrition.

I used my son's dietician for advice and resources, I think it's also important to use common sense and refer back to the old fashioned "food pyramid" that we used to see on posters at school.

Also making sure to feed everyone things that have the least ingredients in them as possible, I.e cooking from scratch with raw, unprocessed ingredients so I know what is going into them and I have control over sugar/salt content.

I also use my eyes to take a realistic view of my children, they're sporty and really active, they're healthy (as they can be) the have good, strong teeth, they sleep well and are meeting targets at school. They all have balanced, varied diets and all eat a wide range of food, I'm not strict on treats, they have them occasionally.

So I think common sense is the key thing.

WhyIRayLiotta Tue 25-Mar-14 20:52:53

When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
I am quite confident that I know how to eat healthily. My downfall is that I like to eat un-healthily at times too! take aways and sweets / treats. I do take care to make sure DD eats healthily. She is only 2 - so I let her experiment with food and help to cook it with me. I think it's hugely important that children know where their food comes from - and I try to cook with un-processed food as much as possible.

Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?
I am confident I provide my family with a healthy balanced diet. and treats are balanced with activity.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.
I use the internet - forumns like Mumsnet are great for tips and recipes to introduce foods. I think it's mostly common sense. I ignore anything faddy for the family - and even if I am cutting back - I will prepare all the meals together so we still eat as a family.

flamingtoaster Tue 25-Mar-14 21:01:43

When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
I'm not confused about anything to do with healthy eating.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?
Due to family allergies I have had to cook from scratch every day to ensure we can have things everyone enjoys which are "safe". This makes it easy to avoid too much, fat, salt, etc. If we do use any packets I have to read the labels carefully to make sure they are allergen free - at the same time it's easy to read and act on the nutritional information.

-Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family. If I feel I need any nutritional advice I search the internet. I also read up-to-date views in the newspaper etc.

MrsLoada Tue 25-Mar-14 21:14:33

Labelling on food packets are not clear , and something will be marked up 100% fat free but it's got 50% of your daily sugar. So I've given up trying to read them. Newspapers / media doesn't help either, one day it's eat this it's good for you next day bad.

I feel I cook a healthy balanced diet, I tend to cook from scratch just simple food lots of veg, potatoes and roast/ grilled meat. Pasta a veg based sauce.

I search online and I have a number of cookbooks a lot of them older 2 nd hand ones , I look for meals that include a number of veg to make sure we are getting our five a day.

A little bit of something you like won't do you any harm and just use common sense

MakkaPakkasSponge Tue 25-Mar-14 21:18:09

I'm happy that I understand about healthy eating. Tbh I think we're bombarded with information but it comes down to what we actually choose to do
So I choose to ignore the many takeaways on our high street (except for approx once a month!) and batch cook/freeze food instead. I prefer our family to eat meals together rather than snacking and I think that's the best way.
We're all a healthy weight and relatively active so I'm happy. I don't think it needs to be any more complicated than that.
I occasionally look up nutritional content of foods my son is being faddy about, or iron rich foods for myself, but that's about it. I think I know as much as I need to already.

CheeseTMouse Tue 25-Mar-14 21:27:52

I don't feel confused about healthy eating but I do struggle with portion sizes when it comes to my small daughter. I am confident I am giving her the right sorts of food, but given the way she wolfed down a large amount of lamb, potatoes and sweet potatoes the other day and could have kept going, I am a bit muddled as to what constitutes sensible amounts for a 7 month old!

Cooking-wise I am quite confident and we have very little sweet and sugary stuff in the house as my DH is diabetic.

I have read a couple of different books on baby weaning, which has given me confidence. But in terms of wider reading and info on healthy eating I tend to rely on common sense. Plenty of fruit and veg, not too much packet stuff and carbs and protein at every meal.

BornToFolk Tue 25-Mar-14 21:28:43

- When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

At the moment, I feel a little confused about saturated fats as I've heard that they are not as bad as previously thought. I've not done any research of my own yet though, so I don't really understand the reasons behind it.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

Yeah, fairly! We're vegetarian, but apart from not eating meat or fish, I aim for as much variety in our diets as possible. I try to avoid processed food for main meals as much as possible (though we do eat Quorn once or twice a week, and the odd frozen pizza...) but we do eat crisps, biscuits etc on a fairly regular basis. So, it's basically lots of fruit and veg and as much home cooking as I can manage! DS is a good eater and enjoys helping me cook (and grow veg) which I think really contributed to his enjoyment of eating.
I always check food labels so I know what we are both eating and avoid too much hidden salt/sugar/fats.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

I use the Vegetarian Society website from time to time, especially when I was weaning DS, to ensure I was getting it right. I also read news reports when it's about something that particularly interests me.

sharond101 Tue 25-Mar-14 21:34:14

- When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing? I am confused about sugar and fruit. Is it ok that a fruit smoothie has 15g sugar as the sugar comes from fruit or is it not ok?
- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not? My confidence goes up and down depending on what my DS will and won't eat. On a day he is happy to eat what I give him I am confident and proud of myself for feeding him homecooked nourishing food. On a day he doesn't want to eat what I make him I am less so confident. I also find myself comparing with other families and this makes me less confident. DS will only eat fruit or vegetables if they are disguised in something so watching a toddler munch an apple, banana or ask for more brocolli dents my confidence somewhat.
- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.
I know what is healthy and try to work around likes and dislikes. With my DH I can only cook and provide as healthy as I can, what he eats of that or on top of that is up to him and despite me nagging he will always be one to snack on junk food and refuse most fruits and veg. I have had food issues in the past and this can sometimes worry me that I am heading my family in one of two extremes, too healthy or too unhealthy. This tends to happen when I am stressed or comparing too much and is only ever in my head rather than being a practical problem.

BobaFetaCheese Tue 25-Mar-14 21:52:10

When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about?
Not confused as such, more slightly irritated that 'low fat' seems to be the more popular option for supermarkets to stock. For example, you can buy 4 or 5 Low Fat Greek Yogurt Brands, but the only one you can consistently buy 'full fat' is the supermarket own brand. It makes me feel a little unhealthy knowing I'm going for the 'alternative', it sends mixed messages about fats and what healthy is.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about?
Yes. Having gone through the awfulness that is an eating disorder I have come out the other side armed with a wealth of knowledge about portion sizes, calories and what healthier options for most things are.
We firmly believe everything in moderation is key and going about giving our children 'treat' foods the right way is important; eg. biscuits aren't a fun treat, they're a fun home cooking experience of high fat foods, so aren't for everyday eating, I am fully aware how square that makes me sound grin

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.
Infant and toddler forum has a great guide we have printed off on the fridge for portion sizes for the children.
I try to read up on nutrition often and adjust our food shop according to the activities people in the household are undertaking (for example, when my DH is running 4x10k a week there are far more proteins and complex carbs knocking about for snacks than in a usual week).

CMOTDibbler Tue 25-Mar-14 21:57:48

I'm pretty confident about healthy eating - one of the advantages in having a medical food restriction is that you have to read the label on everything.
I take a pragmatic approach to it though. Its a balanced diet after all. So I avoid hidden or pointless sugar, but enjoy some chocolate if thats what I really want. I buy low fat yogurt (without sugar) and skimmed milk as we prefer them, but like butter on my toast. Loads of veg, plenty of fruit, mix of protein sources, as little unidentifiable things in our food as possible.

RubySparks Tue 25-Mar-14 22:02:01

I find the same as CMOT... Having coeliac disease kind of simplifies things, it is easier to go with 'whole' foods rather than processed which also seems healthier. So I will more likely have an apple or banana than something in a packet where I have to read all the ingredients to make sure it is ok. I think that works well for everything, keep it simple, salads and jacket potatoes, home made soups, basic veg etc

GiraffesAndButterflies Tue 25-Mar-14 22:57:16

Healthy eating confusion: I don't think DH and I get portion sizes right. And I am not sure whether I should give DD (13mo) vitamins. I'm not a big believer in supplements, she eats healthily, her milk is fortified, and no dr or hv has mentioned them. But I know 'official nhs guidance' is to give them.

Yes, I basically feel confident about healthy eating, but that's because I've learned the difference between advertising and good advice, and I've developed a good bullshit filter.

DH and I get ideas from books and aim for variety and not too much processed crap.

missorinoco Tue 25-Mar-14 22:59:54

I am confident about healthy eating.
I suspect the children have a healthier diet than DH and I. During the week we eat little protein and more carbohydrates and vegetables.

I am aware of the amount of salt in processed food; hearing about the amount of salt in shop bread was a shocker, as was the calorific value of tomato ketchup. I suspect there will always be these gems.

Is it confusing - yes. I balance what we eat and ignore what the adverts say. Special K may have very little calories, but as I understand it the box is more nutritious so I will pass.

LegoCaltrops Wed 26-Mar-14 08:21:18

When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing? I don't feel confused, however I do think that with the new guidelines finally catching up with common sense about sugar intake, it's about time there were more low sugar options for foods available - for example fruit yoghurt, it's impossible to find an affordable fruit yoghurt in the supermarket that isn't sweetened. Fruit is sweet enough! It doesnt need artificial sweeteners or sugar.

Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not? I am fairly confident about this. I mainly try to keep the family to a diet of wholegrain food, fresh veg, lean-ish meat, dairy, pulses etc. We rarely eat pre-prepared food (baked beans might feature in the meal plan once a fortnight, for example) and we rarely eat takeaway. We don't eat ready meals etc.

Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family. To be honest I've lost faith in 'official guidelines' etc on correct nutrition. I have read so much on MN & in the papers about kids not being allowed to eat their apparently healthy packed lunches, & steered towards school meals full of refined carbs, sugar & additives, produced for 70p per head, that I'm worried about what it will be like when my DD starts school. Mainly I just try to stick to as fresh & natural a diet as possible, cooked from fresh ingredients, with lots of fruit & veg & wholegrain, & as few additives as possible.

hydra234 Wed 26-Mar-14 09:09:33

When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
Nothing really, the only bit that does confuddle me is all the different oils and fats. I know saturated fat is bad, but now I'm reading that vegetable oil is bad?

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

Providing I am completely confident, them eating it, not so much!

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family

I read labels and use my brain. Firmly believe there should be free cookery classes to teach people the very basics of healthy cooking.

sealight123 Wed 26-Mar-14 09:27:15

When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
Everyone seems to think healthy eating is never having anything a little bit naughty and forever living off salads and fruit. It is about being balanced with what you eat. I get confused how people have such a restricted view on healthy eating....they see it as a diet rather than a healthy lifestyle.

Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?
My daughter loves her fruit and vegetables, more so than sweets and crisps, but I worry that she doesnt have balanced meals as we struggle to get her to eat unless it is fruit or vegetables! At nursery she is fine, she will eat anything infront of her but at home it is a battle. She eats it in the end but after a very long time at the table lol

Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.
Your body can be a big indicater of if your getting it right. No I'm not a slender woman, but I am also not a large woman. When I have a healthy balanced meal, I feel energised and fresh...after having a chinese takeaway as a treat I feel like I am sweating grease...
It is also about portion sizes and moderation!

Geniene Wed 26-Mar-14 12:06:13

Healthy eating in our house is a healthy balanced diet, we have treats, some of which are healthy treats and some naughty ones. As long as the majority of food given/offered is healthy there is nothing wrong with the odd bit of cake or chocolate. Nothing about healthy eating confuses me, I know that we all need to eat lots of fruit and veg and some have greater health benefits than others.
I try to ensure that every meal has the right balance of nutrients and plenty of veg smile

kateandme Wed 26-Mar-14 12:20:00

i truly believe it is all bout balance.treats a re fine but you need the good meals with vegetables too.
i dont like this scare mongering.i dont like the diet plans.or gimicks,shakes or low this and that stuff.i think it leads to more troubles.for healthy eating we need to educate people and help them understand what it really means to be balanced.
dont deprive people just makse sure you have the good stuff too.
its about family too.meals together,cooking together,leanring together breeds more healthy eating.
taking the time to care about what you eat.
mcdonalds are ok.salads are ok.meat is fine.veg is fine.as long as we mix and match and be good to ourselves and lsiten to our bodies.

Hopezibah Wed 26-Mar-14 22:02:25

- When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

the different numbers involved which are supposed to make things clearer. Ok five a day for veg is straight forward, but then there is 3 a day for whole grain, foods from the 5 main food groups and then traffic light systems thrown in and that all gets confusing put together.

When I was weaning I found it a real worry about the amound of calcium in my baby's diet and making sure she got enough because the info from the health visitor was so confusing. I just wanted a really simple guide in terms of X amount of cheese, X number of yogurts, X cups of milk. Not all in milligrams etc.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

Sometimes we have a good run of healthy eating and feeling confident about it. I think most the time we know roughly what we should be eating but sometimes we can lack motivation and it is easy to turn to takeaways.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

I try to just follow basic advice like plenty of fruit and veg, lean meat, enough dairy, cutting back on sugar and fats and I don't specifically source info about it. With the exception of weaning time when I do feel i need more specific advice.

Paintyfingers Thu 27-Mar-14 00:38:44

My main policy to to try to make sure everyone in the family has a good broad range of food and to avoid low fat products.

KateOxford Thu 27-Mar-14 06:10:02

I often find the advice on how often we should eat/should not eat certain foods confusing. Eg eggs. I think this my be due to research findings changing or perhaps taking someone else's word for it without checking myself.

I try to provide my family with a health and balanced diet however find this difficult. It's hard trying to find a balance between things I know I can cook and easily so that I don't spend all day in the kitchen, trying to find things that all of the family will eat ( I have a fussy toddler), making things from leftover ingredients so that we don't waste food and therefore waste money. I also find it hard to keep track of what we have had on what days so that we have variation and a balance.

I mostly use the internet to look up recipes and to look up particular foods if I am thinking about trying a new recipe but I don't do much research into this, I concentrate more on things I know I can make and which sound healthy to me.

Hermancakedestroyer Thu 27-Mar-14 08:18:28

When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they?

The media causes a lot of confusion about healthy eating. One day something is good for you, the next it's causing heart attacks and cancer. It's no wonder that people get confused. I'm firmly of the opinion that everything in moderation is a good healthy life choice.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

Again I read in the media that a girl got expelled for having a packet of mini cheddar in her lunchbox! Ridiculous. If you feed children only fruit and veg it's not filling enough for them. They need other foodstuffs and dare I say a little bit of fat to have a balanced diet.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

I read articles on healthy eating all the time. On mumsnet, magazines, in newspapers and I then make an informed decision as to what to feed my family. I think cooking from scratch is a quick and easy way to make your meals healthier. I have very little time to cook but a stir fry or quorn ingredients take very little time to cook and are nice and healthy.

MadMonkeys Thu 27-Mar-14 08:49:18

I'm not confused about it. We avoid fads and eat plenty of veg, fruit, wholegrains etc. We try to have plenty of variety. I cook most things from scratch to avoid all the added sugar, salt and preservatives that ate found in processed foods. We have cakes etc as treats rather than all the time.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Thu 27-Mar-14 09:44:30

- When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

I don't feel confused about healthy eating.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

I know what I should be giving my family, but I find it hard to serve up food I don't want to eat. I'd like to enjoy what I'm eating, so making healthy choices isn't easy. I try to compensate for my dislike of lots of vegetables by eating more fruit.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

Mostly by searching on the Internet.

- When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

I think that most people who can read know what healthy eating is. There are messages everywhere.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

I try but I have no willpower when it comes to crisps and chocolates so I try to avoid buying them, but then OH will go out and buy a lot of fatty/sugary snacks and put them in the snack cupboard. But we do eat healthy balanced meals most of the time, it's just weekends when resolve weakens.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

I base it on information I have picked up over the years, most of which is eventually proved right, such as a smaller amount of organic butter being better for you than low-fat tampered with vegetable fats. I also have learned to listen to my body and how it reacts to foods.

MaddAddam Thu 27-Mar-14 10:07:24

- When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

Not really. I feel I know what a healthy diet consists of and the basics haven't really changed for a long time, if you ignore all the faddy diets that come and go.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

Yes. I have read enough about nutrition and diet. I like to read research evidence so I tend to ignore the headlines and look at the details which are less conflicting. I had a mother who was pretty health-aware for a 70s parent too so we ate healthily when I grew up.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

We aim for lots of fresh fruit and veg (at least 5 portions a day each but I aim for more), not much processed food, no cheap meat and very little meat altogether, mostly vegetarian and made at home. Wholegrain bread etc. It doesn't seem that hard to know what to do, even if we don't always eat totally healthily, we know what we SHOULD be doing!

Spirael Thu 27-Mar-14 11:09:16

- When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

The problem with generalised advice is that people are not all the same. What works for one person in terms of healthy eating might not work for another. We all have different lifestyles, appetities, preferences and metabolic systems. That rarely seems to be taken into account!

Day to day, one person might do really well on carbohydrate limitation, while another might do best with an intermittent fasting. Tell one person to reduce calories and any excess weight might fall off them, but tell another to do the same and they will gain weight but lose energy as their body goes into starvation mode.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

I feel relatively confident. I do my best to provide a varied and healthy diet. Nothing is forbidden, but things such as snacks and desserts are limited to sensible amounts. Hunger is always fed, but usually with things like fruit and vegetables (preferably with high water content) between meals.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

A combination of published advice and trial and error, mostly. Both DH and I have tried many things over our years and discovered what works best for us and our family.

CrewElla Thu 27-Mar-14 11:16:32

When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

Portion sizes for toddlers. How much protein they need and how much is a serving of fruit or veg.

Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

No, I feel like we're winging it.

Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

I ignore it since so much is conflicting! I try to make sure that they kids eat mainly fresh fruit and veg in a variety of colours, I choose multigrains when I can, I make sure that they drink only milk or water, and I try to get protein in them but it's a struggle.

I wish the media would pipe down about 'healthy eating'.

There's so many diets and one week protein is good for you and the next it is bad. One week Soya is good for your heart and the next week it gives you cancer. These kind of stupid researches based on poorly collated statistics should be banned by the NHS throughout the country.

We do try to eat healthily, although I am not a great cook so don't have a great deal of confidence in the kitchen.

I'm not worried about it and I'm not putting a locking the biscuit cupboard!

rootypig Thu 27-Mar-14 12:37:12

The main difficulty I have is navigating the bizarre ingredient names on anything but utterly unprocessed fresh food. I want to buy DD oatcakes. What is all this other stuff listed that's not oats? Looked at a Can of coconut milk the other day - 30% coconut extract?! What was the other 70%?? Cereal - the only ones I've found that are not 15% sugar are shredded wheat and weetabix. Sulphates in dried fruit - does it matter? And so on. I want to give DD a healthy diet without being a fanatic. I would like to be able to discern which is the better quality oatcake. What bacon is pumped full of colour and salt. Which eggs really do come from healthy hens.

I suppose it's all about transparency, and trust.

Everything in moderation is mostly my healthy eating ethos.
I think the diet industry's focus on the ins and outs of what we eat is a problem, better to focus on overall attitude to food.
I try to eat mainly foods that aren't too messed around with.
I grow much of our fruit and veg, make meals from scratch, partly as it's cheaper (compared to high quality convenience food) and partly because DS is milk-allergic and lots of processed foods have milk in some form.
My DCs are older now, so make their own food choices, but I feel I've given them a good nutritional base to work from.

kazzawazzawoo Thu 27-Mar-14 17:34:54

I find the conflicting information in the press confusing. however now i try to cook from scratch as much as possible and we n have cut down on sugar a lot. we eat lots of vegetables, not many carbs as this suits us.

ceeb Thu 27-Mar-14 18:12:02

Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

One of the problems I have is that one of my DSs doesn't have an ounce of fat on him (like his dad) and the other is stocky (like me). I serve them exactly the same food, however the first will happily eat all the fruit and veg and the second tends more to the protein and carbs. As a mum my natural urge is to try to get the first to eat more and the second to eat less. I wish I knew how to do so without either of them getting a complex!!!

My husband has recently lost 3 stone by doing a no fat, low carb, high protein diet. He feels great for it and feels it works for him, but I worry that the DSs get the wrong messages from it. What can I do to shield them from DH's enthusiasm for his diet without discouraging DH?

Finally, a friend's DC have recently been diagnosed with coeliac disease and I am wondering whether there is any other benefits to cutting out gluten (other than lowering the risk of getting coeliac).

So many questions!!!

Smilesandpiles Thu 27-Mar-14 20:06:21

My own mantra is:

Everything in moderation. Try to cut out as much processed foods as you can but there's nothing wrong with indulging in a takeaway or ice-cream or whatever every now and again.

Add that with a good dose of exercise everyday and you'll be fine (in general, medical reasons are not included).

lottietiger Thu 27-Mar-14 20:52:28

When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
Yes, anything pre-packaged is confusing. Thats why we buy meat and vegetables etc and make up all own meals 99% of the time. I am always worried about salt content in any of the pre-made stuff.
- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not? Yes i feel confident as long as i know whats in the products i am supplying to the family. Its stuff like yoghurts for instance that write low fat but that are really full of sugar that can make me unsure whats good and whats not.
- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family. I try really hard to make snacks for me and my son fruit or raisins, and im lucky as we both like them. Hubby prefers crisps so thats up to him. Neither of us have great teeth so i worry about sugar intake for my son, i dont let him drink juices etc he sticks to water. He is too young to complain at the moment, so i worry how strict i will be when he wants coke, as every one else is having it.

GrasshopperNchipmunk Thu 27-Mar-14 21:05:49

- When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

Not really, there is a lot of information out there now about healthy eating and I think that food in supermarkets are generally marked more clearly now. I'm pretty good at reading labels for food and we always cook from scratch so I more or less know what is in the meals I make.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

I absolutely feel confident about knowing what constitutes a healthy diet and we try and stick to healthy most of the time. I am guilty of 'treating' the children probably too much at times, although this is usually alongside either a sporting activity, or something like a day out.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

I search online for healthy recipes. I like cooking anyway and have always cooked from scratch. I am always on the look out for new meals to try, or any kind of inspiration really. I use some cook books and also watch some cooking programs. I will often adapt meals or substitute ingredients to make a dish more healthy. My mum has always been a pretty good cook so we swap and share ideas also.

ColdFeetWarmHeart Thu 27-Mar-14 21:09:32

- When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
I think healthy eating is such a broad term, loosely used by many health professionals. other than getting as much fruit and veg into your diet, I don't think much is accurately or consistently put across to us from NHS/government. There is always conflicting information regarding carbs, protein and fat, and most information out there is aimed at an adult of a healthy weight. There is little info for people needing to lose weight, or for children.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?
No. I do struggle to eat right myself (it is one thing to know how I SHOULD be eating, its quite another to undo years of bad habits etc), but I really do try to give my DD a good diet. At 18 months I am trying to encourage her to have 3 good meals a day, with not much more than fruit in between. She drinks milk and water on a daily basis, with the odd sip of our tea/squash/milkshake as a treat. She wolfs down "junk food" like crisps and cake far too quickly for my liking, so these are limited (at toddler groups/birthday parties etc I will give her the healthy foods like banana, cheese sandwiches, yogurts first, allowing a small cake/biscuit afterwards). She loves chocolate, but again this is really limited. I make sure that when she does have any, its a small portion (e.g. 6 little buttons) often sharing a treat size bag between the 2 of us. This is probably about once a month - we still have christmas chocolate left, and I have asked family members to buy colouring books etc instead of Easter Eggs. She is not allowed any sweets, such as hairbo.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.
I have a large family, and have seen parents feed their children at opposite ends of the spectrum; some children eat nothing but sweets, chicken nuggets and chips. Others have been lectured so much about "healthy eating" that they are scared to eat the odd hot cross bun or crumpet, until they reach secondary school where they start to rebel and eat all the banned foods. We use our common sense in terms of treats (i.e. don't ban them completely, but don't have them too often or at set times, like when she sees grandparents). Again I try to use common sense with as many meals as possible, putting at least 1-2 vegetables with dinner for example. We do have a range of cookbooks for meal ideas, and I find I have to rely on the internet a lot for information about portion sizes etc for my DD (my HV gave me a leaflet before she was born, but it was a vague leaflet that gave you portion sizes for an active 2 year old). I have yet to find a book that provides me with all the information that I need.

custardcream1000 Thu 27-Mar-14 21:09:53

- When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

I don't feel confused about healthy eating at all. I think I am quite fortunate that I grew up in a family that had a healthy diet so I have never had to educate myself on the issue.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

Yes, as stated above - I have never known anything other than healthy eating so it is the 'norm' to me.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family

I don't go out of my way to find nutritional advice, but if I see an article online about new research (such as the butter vs margarine debate) I will read it and take on board any information relevant to my family.

GrasshopperNchipmunk Thu 27-Mar-14 21:12:22

You think that it would help that my husband is a chef - but it doesn't, typical chef he cooks very rich food when he has the chance, which is lovely but usually really unhealthy. Either that or he will go for convenience as he will be sick of cooking all day at work. I do 99% of the cooking at home though so I make sure the kids and us eat healthy meals the majority of the time!

ColdFeetWarmHeart Thu 27-Mar-14 21:15:32

Should elaborate slightly - I am confident that I am providing my daughter with a healthy and balanced diet 99% of the time, myself about 50% of the time, and my husband about 1% of the time! I am worried how this will affect her as she grows older, so am trying to improve our eating habits too.

I try and treat myself, so for every 'good' day I have, I can have a small treat; like little bar of chocolate. Every time I get to a week of good I get a meal out and when it's a month I go and buy myself a new outfit.

But I must say I don't diet, I try and eat healthy and keep everything in moderation, not just because it's the best way but because I don't want my daughters to pick up an unhealthy body image.

janekirk Thu 27-Mar-14 22:59:25

So many confusing food labels and health advice that I tend to loose heart when trying to eat healthily. I make sure I eat plenty of veg/fruit in the hope it will counteract all those take-aways.

daisybrown Thu 27-Mar-14 23:45:11

Just use common sense, if you don't have that then you're not likely to be able to follow advice anyway. A bit more clarity and honesty with food labelling wouldn't go amiss though.

Maiyakat Fri 28-Mar-14 13:17:09

Feel DD's diet is more balanced than mine, put more thought into what she eats. I am more likely to snack on junk food after she has gone to bed! Don't find the traffic light labelling particularly helpful. Find sensible nutritional advice hard to find, all seems to be quite extreme (must have or not have something, no common sense or moderation).

BlackeyedSusan Fri 28-Mar-14 22:36:25

When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
not confused as such, just that I have not yet read research. preferably peer reviewed stuff.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

i do my best according to the the advice and research I have read/heard. the children eat a wide variety of fruits and veg. (lots of aldi super6) they eat seeds, beans of various types and pulses. they eat a little meat. I try and give ds omega three regularly in the form of fish, linseeds or to some extent in rapeseed oil. there is not adequate information about diets for children of different ages. sometimes it is difficult not to worry that you have go the balance wrong when faces with an onslaught of advice and opinions on the internet. it would be lovely to have a one stop place to go to to find out about how much of what is needed at what age, and where it can be got from. references to proper research would be helpful too.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

google. look at the source and see whether it something I can trust. radio four do some good programmes looking at the latest research.

common sense comes into it as well. enough protein for growth, plenty of wholgrain, and lots of variety. the more variety the more likely they are to be getting all their nutrients.

Willemdefoeismine Sat 29-Mar-14 12:35:18

Having recently completed the PruHealth Vitality challenge along with 9 fellow Mumsnetters, I feel rather as if I had a catch-up class on healthy eating. I think most of us know what constitutes a healthy diet but can either get lost in being such purists (such as Gwynnie) that we lose sight of the notion that "a little bit of what you fancy does you good" or we have had to put up with such a lot of food quirkiness from difficult children that we've effectively thrown in the towel for an easy life!

I do find the 'five a day' fruit/veggie mantra a bit confusing because I think Dentists in particular are fast coming to the conclusion that too much fruit is really bad for teeth. So a whole cohort of parents and children have been blissfully embracing such a healthy living mantra only to find that all those raisins, fresh fruits are only good in moderation and probably should never be more than 2/5 of the 'five a day'.

Yes, I do feel confident about what constitutes a healthy diet but not sure that I do always deliver it. Sometimes a treat is good for one and the children. I definitely agree that moderation is the key and the occasional bar of chocolate/bag of sweets/packet of crisps is not unacceptable in a normally balanced everyday diet. The trouble is that children will generally err on the side of the 'unhealthy' options and one has to keep an eye on unreasonable and regular demands for unhealthy foodstuffs!

I was a very clean/healthy living type as a student so haven't forgotten the basic rules of a good diet. I do keep up to date with research on diet etc...just because it interests me. I am of an age that I have lived thro' various fashions in foods (and what constitutes healthy/unhealthy) and truly do believe that moderation in everything one takes into one's body is key! I think this current thinking on cutting down on wheat and dairy is probably sensible too.....More varied grains, higher proportions of veggies to carbs/protein, snacking on nuts/seeds, the positive power of oats, coconut oil

nerysw Sat 29-Mar-14 14:17:48

It's not all that confusing. I think these days most of us know what's good/bad for us, it's just that we don't like to stick to it. I try and eat plenty of fruit as snacks but like cakes and crisps. The trick is moderation but we'd all like to be a bit better at that!

DoctorGilbertson Sat 29-Mar-14 21:48:42

- When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

Not really.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

I wish my DC ate more vegetables. I work full time and have not a lot of money. Cheap, quick food acceptable to the whole family is sometimes not very healthy.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

Isn't it quite obvious?

Dolallytats Sun 30-Mar-14 07:49:50

I wish that the labels of 'healthy eating' ranges were clearer. I bought these for years thinking they were better for me. I had no idea they were packed with more sugar.

I have a very fussy DS, but he has recently started trying new foods which I think is because we didn't make him eat them when he didn't want to. I put them on the plate and let him get on with it. In the last few days he has tried mango, kiwi, melon, baked beans and curly kale-and it was all his choice.

ClaudetteWyms Sun 30-Mar-14 10:02:40

When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

I find the Government's "advice" confusing. We have had information from school on feeding children a healthy diet - telling us to give them low fat cheese and yoghurt, low sugar squash etc. This goes against everything I thought was correct -ti.e. to avoid processed foods as much as possible, fat isn't bad etc.

Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

I do feel confident about it, we cook from scratch almost every day, DD gets a packed lunch with home made bread instead of shop bought stuff full of salt/sugar. All cakes/biscuits etc. are home made. I keep us away from processed foods as much as possible. DD isn't great with veg but I serve up several portions a day and she is getting better with it.

Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

Common sense. And taking anything in the newspaper and by the Goverment (sponsored by the processed food industry) with a big pinch of salt. I believe in two mantras: don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognise (within reason); and "Eat good food, not too much, mostly plants".

addictedtosugar Sun 30-Mar-14 11:17:58

I'm confused by the healthy eating message sent home by the NHS post reception weight / height measurement.
Eating low fat dairy, switching to diet drinks (ie loaded with sweetener) to me sounds crazy, so I ignored it.
For me, eating healthy is about knowing whats in your food - and being able to find most of the ingredients on the shelves in the supermarket.

I'd say we don't eat a particularly healthy diet. Too much baking, so excess sugar, and salt in bread, cereals etc. Also very wheat based. BUT compared to many, its very very good. So in some cases, how healthy you think your diet is is based on what those around you are eating.

Nutritional info??? I don't source it. I was taught by my mother about not eating too much sugar, fruit and veg etc. I don't subscribe to diets - if I've put on too much weight, I need smaller portions, and to move more is whats required. Its a slow process, but seeing those around me who cambridge diet for 3 months, and then a year later are back where they started is unsuccessful. Hopefully by cooking with the kids, they too will learn about sensible eating.

Burbee12 Sun 30-Mar-14 11:24:00

In my opinion, sometimes people get too carried away with the word "diet" and dont spend enough time concentrating on healthy eating for life. I am a mum of three teenagers and have the luxury of staying home so i mainly cook home made meals from scratch. No processed food and even if children eat fast food once a week , its got to be chicken breast. Or something else which wont have an animals internal organs mashed up and processed into it and palmed off as meat. Its very important to know whats going into the food which we eat from fast food diners and other food outlets.
Obviously parents that work would find this is too time consuming and i sympathise with them but maybe they could consider making some fresh meals and putting them in freezer.
Its my first time on this so sry if ive said something to upset anyone.

TheHoneyBadger Sun 30-Mar-14 15:51:13

i'm not confused and i don't think it is complicated however i think there is a lot of vested interest in making it complicated - whether it's food marketing, selling books, gimmicky diets etc.

i mostly avoid gimmicky 'kid' food eg: petit filous which markets itself as full of goodness for kids whilst containing all sorts of artificial crap and being made from skimmed milk powder rather than whole milk with the subsequent nutrition and energy. i go by ingredients and what i know rather than what marketing campaigns say as they flagrantly make all sorts of misleading claims.

i try to avoid the idea of 'treat' food versus 'healthy' food though by 7 ds obviously has picked up the messages anyway. if i don't think he's eating great 'meals' i'll ensure the snacks contain a handful of olives, some cucumber and a quartered apple say. some weeks we eat relatively well, some weeks less so. that's ok with me.

essentially i feel like it's just food and my generation and beyond seem to have become disturbingly neurotic about it and many people i know i have ocd like levels of fetish about it.

Not confused no, I think tis evident that professed foods are far from nature so can't be good for you, whereas fresh veg, fish, lean meat etc are. I do find it annoying how much processed and "diet" food masquerade as being healthy when they are far from it. And I don't buy into carbohydrates being the new evil. Having said that, the insidious "treat" culture has somehow crept into our lives and DD would probably do anything for some jelly or chocolate!

Nottheshrinkingcapgrandpa Sun 30-Mar-14 17:34:20

I think what annoys me is the constantly changing advice- eggs are bad- eggs are good; red meat is bad/ red meat is good; coffee is bad for you/ coffee is good for you etc. You read one headline which is contradicted by another a few months later. I can understand why people get confused with it all.

- When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

They aren't hugely confusing, but there are so many "rules" it's hard to follow them all and some are contradictory, e.g

I must eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day
I must eat at least 3 portions of wholegrain a day
I must eat lots of fibre every day
I must eat at least 1300mg of calcium a day because I'm breastfeeding
I must have a low fat diet, but I still need to consume enough dairy to get that 1300mg calcium, but as my baby is cmpi I can glug down lots of coconut milk (chocolate coconut milk is fine apparently, as long as I'm getting enough calcium [actual Dietician advice])
I should eat less sugar, as it is BAD, but I still need to eat lots of fruit and veg
I must eat carbs every day for sustainable energy - see my comment about sugars above
Low GI foods are better, so I should eat some of those
I should also get outside and get some vitamin D every day
I need an iron rich diet, oh, plus lots of B vitamins
I should eat less red meat because of the fat and cholesterol, but isn't that good for getting enough iron? confused
I need to eat less saturated fat as it's BAD
Nuts are full of fat, so are bad
Nuts are full of vitamins and protein, so are good
See as above for nuts and apply the same to avocados
We all need to eat less processed foods, but this apparently doesn't cover low fat spreads which are OK even though they are about as processed as you can imagine.
I should eat no more than 2000 calories a day, probably less for a sedentary lifestyle, possibly more for breastfeeding, no-one is entirely sure
I should eat more broccoli, for the vitamins and the calcium, but there is only so much I can eat in a week
Ditto for Kale
I shouldn't take large vitamin C supplements as they can cause heart attacks
I need lots of vitamin C to keep my immune system healthy
I should avoid calcium supplements as they have been linked to heart attacks, but how else am I supposed to get enough calcium?

And somewhere in between eating all of that lot I need to also shift the post baby weight sad

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

Yes, ish, as they are good eaters, but see above.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

The Dietician in our case due to food intolerances, and not the Daily Mail. But it is really hard to follow all of the advice at the same time without going stir crazy.

Sorry, that was a bit of an epic rant blush

TheHoneyBadger Sun 30-Mar-14 20:06:05

i enjoyed the epic rant smile

i also never forget that boy there was documentary about who at the age of something like ten had only ever eaten jam sandwiches. they tested him and tested him and you could see them rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of his bone density and cholesterol and everything else they tested. they couldn't find anything wrong or out of the norm with him despite the best testing money could buy.

i'm not recommending anyone lives on jam sandwiches but i am saying if you don't have allergies or specific issues with your digestive health for example the body is an incredible thing that will extract what it needs from any diet under the sun.

EauRouge Sun 30-Mar-14 20:09:42

* - When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing? *

Not really, but I tend to ignore all the fad diets and media hysteria reports.

* - Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not? *

Yes, I feel very confident about it.

* - Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family. *

I do what my mother did for me- provide home-cooked meals with plenty of fresh veg and buy very little processed food. Nothing is banned but sweets and crisps are only available on certain days.

I find the media a very unreliable source of advice because they tend to sensationalise everything, leave out some information so that they can bias the story in the way they choose, or just rubbish a study altogether if they don't like the sound of it.

I don't like the NHS advice either, it's too simplified and patronising.

I read once (can't remember where) 'don't eat anything if you can't pronounce the ingredients'. I try to avoid things with a massive long list of ingredients.

Soveryupset Sun 30-Mar-14 21:48:00

When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
I used to believe dairy was healthy and always gave the children a glass of milk in the morning, cheese snacks, etc...until my daughter's sinus became blocked for a very long time (8 months) and we finally worked out that the cause was the milk. She is 9 years old and never had a reaction to lactose before. The doctors were sceptical but we are 100% sure. Having researched dairy and read a number of papers from Harvard University etc.. I am not so sure dairy is so good for children or adults. I have definitely cut down a lot on diary but feel that it is hard to trust the establishment. Similar experience with my boys' who both have coeliac disease and similarly when researching wheat it makes scary reading.

Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?
NO. I used to think we had a very healthy diet, lots of vegetables and everything we cook from scratch. However since 3 out of 4 of my children developed food intolerances growing up, I became less sure we have made the right choices, for example dairy and wheat.

Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

I now do not trust many and I am just very careful to observe my children's reactions to food.

cottonwoolmum Sun 30-Mar-14 22:39:38

I'm going through a bit of a confidence crisis about healthy eating in our family, as the DC grow into teenagers and need more food but become fussier and also are out of the house a lot more. There are staple healthy meals I know they'll eat but not many of them, and DH despairs of the lack of variety.

I recently tried low carbing. I looked much thinner but lost no weight and although I didn't feel hungry, and the lack of cravings was really wonderful, I did get obsessed with food because it was so often hard to find something I wanted to eat.

Like most things in life, I believe moderation and balance are the key to being healthy. Home cooked food, easy on the fat sugar and salt, with lean protein, complex carbs and loads of veg plus some fruit and the occasional treat is my idea of a healthy diet for all the family. That sounds so simple but the reality is as soon as I take my eye off the ball (like today) DS 2 is off to the shop to buy Pepsi Max and is caught feeding his salad to the guinea pigs!

ShatnersBassoon Mon 31-Mar-14 11:34:47

- When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
I don't find it confusing. It's mainly common sense.
- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?
Yes, I feel confident. I enjoy cooking and have lots of time to do so.
- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.
It's information I've gathered over my lifetime. We have no dietary limitations which makes providing a balanced diet very easy.

Like others on here, I generally try to keep to moderation in all things. Occasional cake and biscuits, chocolate at the weekends - boys get given tons at Christmas and Easter and we dole it out in small amounts!

The only thing I always end up wondering about is all the conflicting information about saturated/unsaturated fats, whether olive oil is really better for you than butter, etc etc.

prettybird Mon 31-Mar-14 13:14:37

When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
Not confused per se - but I have learnt to read around the topics for myself. As a result, I am not longer scared about saturated fats, eanjoy full fat milk (which is actually a low fat product despite perceptions) and am much more conscious of avoiding sugar in all its forms. This doesn't mean that I won't eat carbs - but that I enjoy them properly when I do.

Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?
Yes I feel confident. But then, I'm a confident cook so I am happy cooking most things from scratch. grin

Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.
Ignore the official advice. Read around the topic for yorself. Make your own decisions. Ask yourself why there has been such an epidemic in obesity since "low fat" became the mantra.

Piscivorous Mon 31-Mar-14 19:43:04

When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
Very similar to what prettybird said. I'm not confused as I have adopted an approach of trying to buy only basic, fresh foodstuff. I don't buy anything that says low-fat on the label as it tells me it is heavily processed.
I find the media reporting irritating, that one week something is good for you and the next week bad. I also find it concerning that the powers that be are still peddling the high-carb, low-fat diet as a cure all despite a rising tide of evidence suggesting it may aggravate conditions like diabetes and obesity. Moderation and tailoring nutrition to the individual is far better than any dogmatic approach.
I hate the traffic light nutritional info as it shows sugars but not total carbohydrates so crap, processed food with sweeteners and starchy thickeners can look healthier than wholefoods, funny how each new way of doing things benefits the food manufacturers and makes it harder for the informed consumer hmm

Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?
I love cooking and am happy cooking most things from scratch. I think our diet is healthier now than 10 years ago as I have learned more about nutrition and subscribe less to the low fat myth.

Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.
Absolutely what prettybird said above. "Ignore the official advice. Read around the topic for yorself. Make your own decisions. Ask yourself why there has been such an epidemic in obesity since "low fat" became the mantra." That epidemic is also in heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many other illnesses, how much of it is diet related or not we don't know but I don't believe that information is given easily due to big vested interests

We eat healthily most days, I cook and bake most things from scratch. I don't buy ready meals either. The kids don't have much in the way of sweets or chocolate but that means every now and then we treat ourselves with a takeaway or an ice cream or sweets and it really does feel like a great treat.
I don't feel guilty then as the rest of the time we are eating well.
Snacks are fruit or cereal and for lunches I make soups often which is a great way to get extra veg into them.
Everything in moderation that's my motto grin

nkf Mon 31-Mar-14 20:55:08

I don't believe in everything in moderation. I think moderation is a value judgment not a measurement. And nobody needs sugar.

Keepcalmanddrinkwine Mon 31-Mar-14 21:37:50

There is too much advice out there and most has an agenda. I try to feed my family a balanced, healthy diet but it's a challenge. Cooking from scratch with good quality ingredients is a good start.

The thing I'm finding most challenging is how sweeteners are put into everything now. I'd rather things were just less sweet.

This news story today about a recommendation to eat 7 portions of fruit and veg a day is a perfect example of how advice changes all the time, varies so much between countries, and how the public get mixed messages about healthy eating. The timing of this thread is unexpectedly apt.

Flufflewuffle Tue 01-Apr-14 14:25:19

My philosophy is pretty simple I think. Everything in moderation, including moderation, to quote Oscar Wilde. smile

And I'm trying to teach my kids the same. You can have junk food and sugar, sure. But only a bit. And not every day. Because it does nothing for you other than taste good. But have some, because it is yummy. Plenty of fruit and veg.
Don't eat if you're full. And eat if you're hungry. Also, eat little bits and often.
Try to eat a bit of everything on your plate before you're done. You don't have to clear your plate. And never say you don't like something, until you've actually tried it. Properly. Giving it a lick doesn't count smile

supergreenuk Tue 01-Apr-14 15:19:49

I always get fed up and confused with the whole fruit juice thing. Yes it's full of sugar but one of your five a day. ????

I suppose as long as it's not the main drink and on offer all day it should be fine.

peronel Tue 01-Apr-14 16:14:42

I think I am informed enough to know what is healthy, but like many people I believed for a while that saturated fat was bad. Having been on an atkins type regime I am now far more concerned with levels of sugars - especially when they are disguised and given various names.
What annoys me is the amount of unhealthy stodge and confectionary that we are bombarded with on a daily basis...angry

Blu Tue 01-Apr-14 16:46:03

When it comes to a 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

Not really. To be honest, with some basic knowledge, it ought to be a matter of common sense. It is largely the barrage of advertising and endless reports about this and that that might confuse you so I ignore most of it, and stick to a basic diet of fruit and veg, complex carbs, protein and healthy oils, remember to include some oily fish, etc. And then everything else in addition is 'junk' or 'treats'.

Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

Yes, I feel confident about how to do it., or what a balanced diet constitutes. Less confident that I actually achieve it: it's hard to keep young teens of the cinema popcorn, the cans of pop, the Haribo, especially once they are out and about and have money. Every occasion seems to warrant stuffing your face - on Mn a favourite pastime is a DVD and popcorn, I would just think 'watch a DVD'.

Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

I don't 'source advice', I mostly try and ignore advertising. I read the broadsheet papers and take notice of things like when there was a report about the possible effects of preserved meats like ham and sausages, but eve then the info is so crude - even serious papers just print the press releases and leave out important scientific detail.

I think portion control is an issue. There was a Jamie Oliver programme where he showed what should be the right size portion of pasta, for example. I think we have fallen for the U.S model of pile it all on the plate, an feel that massive portions - pubs are terrible for this - are to be celebrated.

GetKnitted Tue 01-Apr-14 20:59:29

I don't feel confused, I know that too much sugar is bad, particularly if combined with a lot of fat, I know that the ideal portion of rice or pasta is a single serving spoon on a plate, I know that processed food has far too much salt in and that the E numbers are through the roof, but I can't seem to explain it all to my ice age genes!

mindingalongtime Wed 02-Apr-14 09:06:00

I just feel that the government have nothing better to do than scaremonger us about what we eat. Some people will never change they way they eat or the food they buy.

Most of us try and eat healthily, I just say, everything in moderation and of a little of something you like does no harm.

I see children everyday who are deprived of sweets, chocolate and biscuits and they are the ones who pig out at parties in quite a disgusting manner as their parents are not around to police them.

Cook from scratch with fresh food and you are pretty much on the right path.

BellaVida Wed 02-Apr-14 12:28:05

I teach my children that it is more about a healthy lifestyle than just healthy eating. I think it is more important to educate them so that they can make their own choices. My 7 and 10 year olds know about food groups and know what food they can eat freely and what things they can have in moderation and know to balance out their school lunch choices.

We are careful as a family not to comment on size, weight or to use food as a punishment or reward, but we do have treats on certain days, celebrations and holidays. I might be bombarded with advertising and messages on body image, but I don't want my children exposed to that, until they have the knowledge, confidence and maturity to deal with it.

When I was growing up, there simply wasn't the same availability of processes food. Meals were cooked from scratch and we baked our own bread, pies, cakes. We used refined sugar, full fat butter and many other things we are now told are bad for us! Then I remember we spent most of our time running around outside, climbing trees, going on bike rides and generally in the go. I'm still here!

laurapotz Wed 02-Apr-14 15:13:37

- When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?
I understand about healthy eating but I am a terrible comfort eater. With a six month old baby I often ending up reaching for the things that are quick, easy and apeal at the time rather than eating a balanced diet. My baby weight is really not shifting!
- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?
I know what to feed myself and my husband but I'm less confident with my baby girl. I am currently weaning her and unsure I am giving her the right balance of nutrients.
- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.
Mostly on the internet, but I plan to talk to a health visitor about feeding my baby.

mjmooseface Wed 02-Apr-14 15:32:27

I don't listen to any of the latest health information any more because what is good for you to eat one day, is dangerous to one's health the next. These scientists and nutritionalists etc change their mind all the time and I have stopped listening now because it's all so confusing. I don't drink alcohol or smoke or take any kind of drugs so I'm fine on that front. When it comes to food, I mainly eat what I like to eat. I don't add lots of salt or sugar to what I eat or cook. And I don't like crisps much. I am aware of what I'm supposed to eat and I do often look at the nutritional information on food packaging. I never did before meeting my husband and so when I am buying food for him, I look at the saturated fat levels as that is what he likes to be mindful of.

I find the nutritional labels very confusing, though. Often, the amounts are given per 100g for a 30g product or something like that. It never seems to be exactly for what the product is so you can be sure of exactly what's in your food.

To me, a balanced and healthy diet is eating lots of fruit and vegetables. Drinking water and pure fruit juices. Eating some meat, carbohydrates, dairy. For me, it's not eating a big meal too late at night or just before you go to bed as your body doesn't have long enough to digest your food - This is something I have struggled with having a young child and have found myself eating as late as 11 at night and then falling straight into bed after! I always feel bad when I do that.

I think stressing about food and how many calories you've had etc can be quite counter-productive to one's healthy eating. I think healthy eating has to go hand-in-hand with general looking after your body. Keeping fit and active.

Having said all that, I love at the end of the week, getting in a lot of treats and chocolates after a long, hard working week to share with the husband over the weekend. And we eat out/have a takeaway about once a month. We make sure we remain active though when we eat 'bad' stuff like that!

Like CheeseTMouse I'm not always sure of the correct portion sizes for my son. But he seems to be good at telling me when he's had enough or if he needs something else to eat. I try very hard to give him lots of variety with his meals and making sure he has plenty of fruit and veg has led me to eat more fruit and veg myself. All of this scary talk of obesity on the rise in young children has got me a bit paranoid about what I feed my son and hope that mine and husband's attitude to healthy eating rubs off on him as he gets older.

mjmooseface Wed 02-Apr-14 15:33:40

Well said, BellaVida, on every point you made!

Pollywallywinkles Wed 02-Apr-14 19:06:27

- When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

Don't feel particularly confused about healthy eating. Sometimes health messages an be conflicting. At one point eggs were not good for you, but now they are.

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

Feel confident as does husband and adult daughter.

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

Basis of nutritional advice was taught at school in 1970s. For up to date information I tend to use a reputable source of information on the Internet such as NHS website.

Featherbag Wed 02-Apr-14 20:22:31

I'm fairly relaxed with my 2yo, I like to make sure each meal has a good mix of protein, carbohydrates and fat, and that he gets at least 6-7 fruit and veg portions a day. I allow treats, but not every day, and I prefer chocolate to jellies etc if he's having sweets.

babsmam Thu 03-Apr-14 07:04:20

It's the mixed messages that get to me. What is healthy one months seems not to be the next.

I do everything in moderation and try and go as fresh and home made as possible.

I tend to read all of the advice then try and see if I need to make any changes. I don't change for changing sake but if a piece of research is well founded.

I have difficulty with all the processed kids stuff that just tempts them but I'm not happy letting them have as it's junk

letsgetreadytoramble Thu 03-Apr-14 09:34:12

I try very hard to provide my toddler with a healthy and balanced diet but I do find it hard for two reasons:

1. He attends nursery 4 days a week and I need to provide his breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. This means I need to plan his meals in advance and batch cook for him. I am not a very inspired cook so I find this hard and am forever trawling the internet for new, easy recipes to try. I try to give him fish once a week, red meat once a week and a portion of lentils twice a week and I get as many vegetables as I can into his meals but they are always frozen and then zapped in the microwave so he rarely eats totally fresh veg. I give him fresh peppers and cucumber to munch on at lunch sometimes but that's about it.

2. The cost of fruit - I buy as much fruit as I can at the beginning of the week but I give him 3 portions a day, and the cost of that adds up. I try to give him different types of fruit each day so by the time I've bought enough variety I'm struggling to afford everything else he needs.

I'm also never quite sure of portion sizes for fruit - he loves it and would eat a whole punnet of grapes if I let him. I know a whole punnet isn't good for him but not sure where to draw the line - too much results in an upset tummy but we're always being told that they should eat lots of fresh fruit.

EwanHoozami Thu 03-Apr-14 10:16:11

- When it comes to 'healthy eating' are there any things that you feel particularly confused about? If so, what are they? Why are they confusing?

I find it confusing that despite plentiful and credible evidence to the contrary, the government's main messages on healthy eating dictate that low-fat is optimal for health. A recent leaflet that came home in my 4 year-old's school bag advised me to switch to semi-skimmed milk, for example. GPs regularly spend NHS funds on subsidising obese patients to attend Weight Watchers or Slimming World, which in my opinion exist to keep their customers yo-yo dieting and miserable on their low-fat high-carb regime. It's becoming more apparent that sugar is the root cause of the weight problem in the UK so why the misinformation that high-carb (i.e. high sugar) regimes are the way forward?

- Is providing your family with a healthy and balanced diet something that you feel confident about? If so why, if not, why not?

I feel fairly confident that my family get a balanced diet. Lots of green veg, good clean protein and natural fats. I hold pretty strong views on fat vs. sugar but I'm realistic enough that chocolate and cake etc is widely available, attractive to children and my boys are going to have a certain amount in their diets. I don't want to be the po-faced mum that whips birthday cake off their plates at a party, but I do try and educate them that it's not an ideal source of nutrition and should be eaten sparingly (I don't use the word "treat" to describe sugary snacks to them however)

- Please share your experiences on how you go about sourcing the right nutritional advice on providing a healthy diet for you and your family.

I read a fair bit about low-carb and paleo nutrition, particularly from Briffa, Taubes and resources such as Mark's Daily Apple. I find Eat Like A Dinosaur a good starting point for a healthy diet for children that doesn't include loads of grain and sugar. I'm certainly pretty cynical about "healthy eating" messages from either the government or the big food industries (who are too closely linked for comfort in my humble, slightly tin-foil-hatted opinion..)

midwifeandmum Thu 03-Apr-14 18:17:29

Very difficult to get greens into dds both are 2 and 5. I find mixing them in with mash potatoes and gravy helps

mamaduckbone Tue 08-Apr-14 22:47:50

I feel pretty confident on what the right foods are to feed my children - they est plenty of fruit and Vegas and unhealthy snacks like chocolate and crisp are a treat rather than an everyday part of their diet. The only thing I find difficult is judging portion sizes, since I have 2 boys who are both very tall for their age and have very healthy appetites. I struggle with finding food to.fill them that is still good for them, especially when they get home from.school starving!!

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