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Very interesting article suggesting that pushing healthy eating on children can backfire.

(37 Posts)
aloha Thu 23-Aug-07 12:21:37

timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/healthy_eating/article2308151.ece

maureenmlove Thu 23-Aug-07 12:24:59

Now there's a suprise! Just goes to show, at little of everything is good for you.

AngharadGoldenhand Thu 23-Aug-07 12:27:05

I thought it was old news that low fat diets for kids were bad.

aloha Thu 23-Aug-07 12:28:31

No, not really. The food standards agency constantly suggest low fat food for children. But there's more in there, such as evidence that it's possible to prompt our children to eat far too much, and that telling children to eat X becaue it is healthy is v counter-productive.

Desiderata Thu 23-Aug-07 12:30:08

It's always been my instinct. I don't just think it's children who can suffer adversely from lack of fats in the diet.

I find it interesting, for instance, that the nation's increase in weight over the last twenty years has coincided, ironically you might think, with an explosion of low-fat diets.

Fat sates the appetite. People who avoid it are far more likely to snack between meals.

<well, that's my opinion, anyway ....>

hotmama Thu 23-Aug-07 12:31:43

Low fat eating for children is bad - they need the fat. Healthy eating is still a good thing though surely - they don't need loads of sugary crap and junk food - and definitely not on a regular basis.

Bad idea to completely outlaw some foods - they'll only want it more - just have occasionally - but I make sure it's good quality stuff - not crap.

Do some parents really give low fat diets to young children? barking

maureenmlove Thu 23-Aug-07 12:36:41

I have just started buying low-fat stuff for me & dh, as we are making sure the weight doesn't go on due to impending middle age! But I still buy the ordinary stuff for dd. I do think though, there's a fine line between restricting 'bad' food and banning them. A child who is not allow to at least sample the crap, will probably dive straight into it, when they are old enough to shop for themselves.

mcnoodle Thu 23-Aug-07 12:36:58

There seems to be lots of advice out there to move children over the age of 2 onto semi-skimmed milk.

I'm ignoring it. And asked my mum what happened in her day and we were on full fat 'til we were at least 11.

I don't see how a processed product can be better than full fat.

AngharadGoldenhand Thu 23-Aug-07 12:40:45

I give my kids full-fat milk, preferably non-homogenised. Much tastier milk, and some people are saying it's healthier too.

witchandchips Thu 23-Aug-07 12:45:53

great at last an article saying that the best thing is not to worry about it all.

Aitch Thu 23-Aug-07 12:53:57

sometimes i think peta bee gets paid money for old rope. i agree with angharad, this isn't new intel.
don't make a big fuss out of food, offer healthy things but don't ban anything... isn't that just common sense? (says she with one 20-month-old dd )

aloha Thu 23-Aug-07 12:56:35

Seriously, the food standards agency has lots of stuff on teh website about giving your children low-fat sausages and some school's 'healthy eating' policies are very tough these days. And I don't know anyone who doesn't day 'come on, you need to eat more than that' to their kids!

Aitch Thu 23-Aug-07 13:01:26

aloha, i have never said that to dd, seriously. [smug] [still to come, no doubt]

am at the idea of low-fat sausages. tricky, though, because it rather gets you into the whole MN 'nice ham' thing. i suspect that if they could say 'nice sausages, with a high meat content, low on preservatives, from a butcher with a stripey apron' that would be closer to the mark, nutritionally-speaking.

Aitch Thu 23-Aug-07 13:08:31

...please tell me you're not Peta Bee, aloha...

becklespeckle Thu 23-Aug-07 13:12:53

I was brought up with a very healthy, vegetarian, no sweets/fats/additives.
As soon as I was in charge of my own diet it went completely to pot as I craved the sweets/cakes and crisps I was denied as a child.
I give my children a good mix of the healthy stuff I had growing up and also the crap that I didn't have.

Blu Thu 23-Aug-07 13:16:59

I echo WitchAndchips with a resounding phew!

Mumpbump Thu 23-Aug-07 13:19:26

I thought I'd keep ds on a healthy foods only diet when he was born because both my dsc are overweight, but I came to the conclusion it was not only unrealistic, but potentially might encourage him to crave sweet stuff. So he is allowed sweet things, including the odd ice-cream when the weather was really hot, but in moderation. I think having a balanced perspective about the whole food issue is better for him although my main incentive for not giving him sweet stuff is more related to preserving his milk teeth.

RubberDuck Thu 23-Aug-07 13:19:51

I still drink full fat milk and I'm 33 and I have no intention of getting anything else, so there!

Would rather have less milk in my diet. If I wanted a watery drink, I'd just have tap water :P

OrmIrian Thu 23-Aug-07 13:21:35

I think, and have always done, that a balance is important. If you are going to insist on a low-fat diet you have to restrict the intake of dairy which is good for most children (unless they are allergies obviously), nuts, olive oil, fish and meat. Or give reduced fat versions of some of those which really are the devils own poo largely (low-fat cheese anyone ? And look at the weird ingredients list of low-fat fruit yogurts) I think that so-called healthy foods such as cereal bars are a nightmare - my DD loves Trackers bars and she 'heard at school' that they are healthy - anyone seen the sugar content of the things?

I have to watch my weight because of my age and the fact that I have started to put on weight in the last 6/7 years or so, but my children eat a normal balanced diet with no low-fat anything.

Aitch Thu 23-Aug-07 13:29:39

i also think, btw, that we are majorly weird about food in this country.
the italians just eat and enjoy, seems much more sensible and if i offered a piece of low fat cheese to a french or spanish person they'd look at me as if i was mad.

MrsPuddleduck Thu 23-Aug-07 13:46:04

Both my DS's eat a good varied diet. They usually have a treat after their evening meal if they have eaten well for the rest of the day.

If we go out they have fruit shoot and we have crisps etc at the weekend and perhaps a cake.

My s-in-law hardly lets my nephew and niece eat anything nice and I think it is going to backfire on her big style.

Recently we took newphew and DS1 to a theme park for the day. They are only just 4 and they had been so good that DH said they could have a bag of sweets to eat in the car on the way home (in true DH style he bought far too bigger bag). DS1 ate about a quarter of the bag and then handed them back to me so he could eat them later. My nephew nearly choked himself ramming them in his mouth as quick as he could. I had to reach around to the back seat and take them off him it was so bad and I put them in his bag for later.

When I next saw s-in-law she said that she had not allowed him to eat the rest (they were only Haribo's).

Sorry its a bit long but I think if you deprive children of treats they will eat them behind your back.

aloha Thu 23-Aug-07 14:45:45

No, I'm not Peta Bee!

hellobello Thu 23-Aug-07 15:14:49

I think that people have forgotten how to eat. Everyone thinks they are doing the best they can, whatever that may mean. We also eat whatever is in fashion. We may think that chicken mcnuggets are full of rubbish, but rubbish is merely a fashion as well. In the past, people added grit to bread and various very poisonous substances to food to make it taste or last longer, before they sold it.

It is much harder to bring up children to eat normally if parents are on a diet or have an eating problem. Reduced fat foods or foods with artificial sweetners are not particularly good for anyone, but they are less particularly bad for adults.

Mumpbump Thu 23-Aug-07 15:33:13

Something that amazed me when I was in my local Tesco's superstore a couple of weeks ago was that it was very difficult to find any full-fat non-probiotic yogurts without artificial sweeteners for ds, other than Petit Filou which they'd run out of.

OrmIrian Fri 24-Aug-07 08:32:58

Muller Little Star ones are full fat, art sweetener free mumpbump. Sadly not just yoghurt and frruit puree though. There's always something added but I think that these are as 'all natural' as possible commercially.

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