Healthy children happy parents

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 28 March 2008



(2008), "Healthy children happy parents", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 38 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Healthy children happy parents

Article Type: Food facts From: Nutrition

Recently labelled as "more serious than global warming", the issue of child obesity is as acute as adult obesity. Jamie Oliver has grabbed the nation's attention with his series "School Dinners", but the majority of children still do not buy into it. How do we make healthy eating appealing and fun to children? Angela Falaschi a nutritionist at the Hale Clinic is doing exactly that with fantastic results.

Angela Falaschi, a practitioner at The Hale Clinic in London, has devised a straightforward, effective plan to help parents reduce the substances that have a negative effect on their children's weight and general health. Angela says, "If people were truly aware of the long-term damage they were causing to their children I am sure many would stop and think before feeding them such things". It is now unquestioned that feeding children junk food seriously damages their health; sugar is addictive and large quantities can cause serious health issues that will be with them all of their lives. It can upset the balance in the intestine, cause dental decay, mood swings, tiredness and irritability. Angela's nutritional programme has been a success, particularly for children suffering obesity. Her creative, fun approach is in keeping with a child's philosophy of enjoyment and playfulness. The programme's key tips are:

  • Do not pressure or force the subject.

  • First the parents must be willing to change their eating habits.

  • Introduce the concept of healthy eating gradually.

  • Treat it like a game, for example use the vegetables to form a smiley face within a sun and say to your child "If you eat the smiling face, you'll be smiling all day long and will be able to play your games better". Or "These vegetables have been in the garden, they have had many days of sun, rain and fun, now they have ended up on your plate, aren't you lucky!"

  • Wrap grapes, strawberries, apple or carrot sticks in sparkling colourful wrapping paper. Children consumer marketing departments have known for years that children are more attracted to the sparkling, colourful lolly wrappers than the actual lolly.

  • Freshly squeezed juices instead of packaged.

Jamie Oliver's "School Dinners" has been a catalyst, however in reality only 30 per cent have embraced the concept of healthy eating. The next step is to make good food appealing and fun to children that have been influenced by a fast food culture. Angela Falaschi explains that she does not want to deny sugar to children but make parents aware of the health future consequences for their child and opt for healthier alternatives.

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