A love of food….a healthy legacy?

At this time of year a lot of peoples minds are turning to healthy meals, losing weight and resolutions for the year which on the whole is to be encouraged, however I do have my doubts. Children are like little sponges taking all of our actions, views and words onboard, working them out in their heads and using them as the building blocks for their own life. Without this hopefully coming across as a preaching session, I just wanted to share my ideas on the state of our nations health, and hopefully find out yours.

I think if you encourage a balanced view of food, and an understanding of where food comes from, and what you can eat lots of, and what maybe should be eaten less of, along with a bit of fun on the way, then they will surely be able to establish a healthy enjoyable relationship with food for their lives.

I’m especially aware of this at the moment with my toddler son, he’s forming the eating habits now that will continue into his adult life, so we try to give him meals that are fun, reasonably healthy (without being rabbit food) and hopefully inspiring. Though being a toddler of a certain age he knows what he likes and this is never easy, we like to give him a range of things so he has a good choice, a finger-licking treat such as the home smoked ribs, homemade wedges and rustic coleslaw were devoured with glee. At one stage he was demanding “More meat!”.

That’s my boy!

What do you think?

18 responses to this post.

  1. Hey Jules, thanks for your comment, It’s great to hear you have sorted your relationship with food out, I was very lucky, even if I didn’t know it at the time, and although I really really enjoy my food, eat and provide healthy home cooked food for my family.
    Cheers
    Marcus

    Reply

  2. Completely agree with you Marcus. In my family we always ate healthy things but had some treats at the weekend and on special occasions. Now I love healthy and wholesome food and much prefer things like brown bread, healthier cereals and skimmed milk etc (all the things I felt were soo unfair that my friends didn’t have to eat). However, my mum did her fair share of diets and I really think she passed all of that onto me and I struggled with my relationship with food, particularly during my teens… but luckily I think I’ve got all that under control now. We were definitely a family of food lovers, no one leaves a scrap on their plate in our house!

    Reply

  3. Have fun with the food and give him tons of variety, but not too much volume, a big plate of food scares kids, tiny plates of food are doable, and play with the food. i say, one of my kids just refused to eat one night, well we had to eat that was all. i did not have the budget for fussy eaters so it never arose but he was tired and cranky so i said just eat like a pig, No hands, like a pig! we all laughed, he ate!
    Oh and give him the raw veges and fruit at mid afternoon, it takes the stress out of dinner when they have already had the rainbow of fruit and veg when they are really hungry which is about 3 or 4pm.
    You will be doing great i am sure..
    c

    Reply

    • Some great advice there cecilia, thanks for taking the time to let me know your experiences.
      Love the thought of eating like piggies, my son loves copying our cat and licking the lid on his yoghurt, we sometimes give the lid to our cat as a treat.
      Cheers
      Marcus

      Reply

  4. Thanks Kate, he is a little star.
    Cheers
    Marcus

    Reply

  5. Hi Marcus – forgot to say on my first post – what an incredibly cute picture of your son!

    Reply

  6. It sounds like it has been really tough with some difficult decisions to make, but the children sound a credit to you, and as you say it’s worth persevering with.
    The book sounds excellent and I’ll look it up.
    Thank you for taking the time to let me know your experiences, it’s such an emotive subject, especially when you want to do the best for your family.
    Cheers
    Marcus

    Reply

  7. Hi Marcus I enjoyed reading your post and all the perceptive comments too.

    I was one of those parents who felt like they were having a total nightmare with their children and food. As you know, I am a real advocate for food and home cooking so it was a bit of a surprise when my kids ended up eating junk food for about a year. I would stress that this is a rare condition, so I don’t want to panic anyone.

    They are only 16 months between my kids and whilst the younger one was a baby I just had to cook the older one what ever she would eat…she became very fussy when she developed a v rare discorder called non-ketotic hypogylcaemia. This is something she has grown out of, but basically it’s a rare immaturity of the system where when she was very hungry she could black out. We could literally see her slowing down. She had a very sweet tooth and basically it would get to the stage where she was refusing most savoury foods, and so we gave her the sweet stuff….and a very limited range of savouries such as sausages, spag bol and fishfingers with just either peas or sweetcorn. This also became the baby’s food after initial weaning.

    I felt permanently stressed and frustrated about meal times for about two years, but gradually as she matured (and her system matured) we could get a bit more varied with their diets.

    It was partly a behavioural thing as well as a health issue – she knew we would give in – we were worried not to – so she became accustomed to not-so-nutritious foods.

    Anyway, I’m pleased to report that now the kids are 12 and 10, the twelve year old is a tall healthy girl (totally grown out of the disorder) who is really a bit of a foodie herself. OK, loathes broccoli and cabbage but would happily eat a bowl of blended veggie soup and most regular, balanced meals. And the younger one has just followed suit, luckily never had a problem with him.

    I can identify with other parents who, not necessarily through similar health reasons, have got caught in a junk food trap. I would recommend Joanna Blythman’s excellent book, The Food our Children Eat, for some good tips, and reassurance that it is worth persevering slowly but steadily (and being an utter bag of stress about the whole situation after they’ve gone to bed = what I was like!)

    Reply

  8. I’m totally with you on this, a very well written post.

    I think it is very important that kids are brought up given the chance to taste different types of food. It is equally important that they realise where that food comes from and how it is made. Hearing grown people not realising what is in their food is sad.

    Equally sad is to hear kids as well as grownups who have had their views of certain foods, fish for example, tainted by their parents views and misconceptions.

    Being able to test and taste different types of food in order to make up your own view is something I see as a kids right. Not something a parent do if they want or not.

    // Mike

    Reply

    • Thanks Mike, great to hear your views on this. Agree totally that children are given the space to form their own relationship with food, with an understanding guiding hand from those around them they will form a lifelong healthy relationship with food.
      Cheers
      Marcus

      Reply

  9. I don’t have children yet, but I feel our society as a whole has gone mad with this idea of dieting, especially for women. I feel that a balanced way of eating means we wouldn’t have to think we need to diet, especially after Christmas. One of my favourite books ‘Animal, Vegatable, Miracle’ by Barbara Kingsolver has a wonderful quote about how we can we expect our children to wait for sex when we advocate eating whatever foods we want in any season – it just makes me wonder how connected what we eat is to other areas of our lives and happiness. A great post and something that should be spoken about more widely!

    Reply

    • Charlie thanks for taking the time to reply. I think you are so right that all these areas of our lives are connected, and our relationship with food is completely linked with how we feel about ourselves, hence things like simple comfort eating to the extreme of eating disorders.
      Cheers
      Marcus

      Reply

  10. I agree Marcus. Our children ate what we ate which included vegetables, fruit, fish and, of course, meat. As soon as they could sit at a table, they accompanied us to restaurants,not “family friendly” restaurants but restaurants.

    Because we entertained a lot, there were sodas and snacks in the house that we didn’t touch and neither did they. They are both healthy, not overweight and have refined tastes in food.

    I guess we were lucky?

    Reply

    • Thanks for your comment Rosemary, it sounds like you have very similar thoughts on this, and you and your children have a great relationship with food, and this is more judgement than luck.
      It’s great to hear this.
      Cheers
      Marcus

      Reply

  11. Posted by Fiona on January 9, 2012 at 2:12 am

    Agree completely. I also think that making fruit a snack treat is a great way to keep them from demanding choc/crisps. I get nagged for banana, apple and mango every single day and am happy for her to eat that in between meals.

    Reply

    • Sounds ideal. We’re struggling to get back to some normality after the Christmas excess, it’s a wonderful feeling to see them really enjoy something you’ve put together. Although I do struggle when I put effort in and he’s just not interested, I guess that’s just part of being a busy toddler.
      Cheers
      Marcus

      Reply

      • Posted by Fiona on January 9, 2012 at 4:40 am

        It really is so deflating when you spend half an hour making something and all you get is “I don’t like it”. Good to know all toddlers are like that though!

      • Absolutely. Hopefully it’s something they grow out of soon.
        Cheers
        Marcus

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BUTTER WOULDN'T MELT

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The BBQ World of mrdodd

Making simple food great, and great food right.

Bathrooms, Kitchens and Bedrooms

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UK BBQ Review

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The Munch and Tattle

A Blog About Food (Mostly BBQ and Grill): Trying everything once and telling you all about it. Good or bad! Blogging from areas around Newport and Cardiff, South Wales.

bake affairs

Bridget`s Bakery Blog

Cornelius Veakins

Outdoor BBQ Chef

CountryWoodSmoke UK BBQ

British BBQ- All the best of UK BBQ, Cooking outdoors whatever the weather.

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