overweight children

It was with great interest that I saw this week’s Panorama programme on “What’s Really in Our Kids’ Food?”I have always tried hard to make sure my daughter has a balanced diet and lots of fruit and vegetables. She never has anything deep fat fried and at the age of two very rarely has chocolate or biscuits (never sweets). I generally cook her food from scratch.

When my daughter was born she weighed 2.2kg and didn’t even make it onto the growth charts. I was immediately encouraged to feed her as much as possible and her weight stabilised quickly. When she was 18 months old I took her to the clinic to get weighed, to find she was on the 75th centile. I was grilled by the health visitor about what she was eating and it made me feel like a terrible mother. I was told to cut down her milk and not give her so much fruit. The end result – I became paranoid. The minute she started running around the weight dropped off anyway.

Getting an early start to healthy eating is something drilled into us everyday in the magazines we read, TV programmes we watch etc. The Government’s latest Start For Life campaign has a big focus on early years. We are told that it’s important to have a high fibre, low fat diet, but too much fibre and not enough fat in young children can lead to stunted growth. It is enough to make any parent that cares about what their child eats panic!

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