I first wrote about how I hated selling chocolate to raise money for our kids’ school back in 2008 and it really hit a nerve with my readers. I used to get so angry when one of our children would arrive home with a huge box of chocolate bars for me to sell. Once I clapped my eyes on that familiar box (with its soft-sell message of “fundraising chocolate” on each bar), I’d feel my blood pressure start to shoot up! Not many things upset me but this is one that’s guaranteed to make my blood boil!
Peanut butter enthusiasts – buckle up. There’s a new healthier alternative in town. I love peanut butter. I remember when I was younger, I’d go for spoonful after spoonful of this sinfully-wonderful-peanut-y-creamy paste after school. Yes, “glutton” I hear you say. But as I grew older, I soon realised that this spread isn’t too innocent afterall.
A child's excess body fat will not melt away like ‘puppy fat' if it has reached overweight or obese levels (to check how your child's weight rates, go to my Children's Weight Issues Part I). This situation needs action NOW, not when they are ‘older', ‘start school' or the ‘weather warms up'.
Having a child with a weight problem needs perseverance and patience. An overweight child will typically not achieve their healthy weight range in anything less than six months and an obese child may be looking at several years before they get there.
Fussy eaters driving you mad? Feeling guilty or frustrated when the kids won't eat a balanced meal you've cooked? Many children refuse to eat vegetables with their stronger sometimes-bitter flavour but many get stubborn over plainer everyday foods such as milk, meat and fruit. I know. We had a fussy eater who drove us mad! So these are my ideas for getting from yuk to yum that may work for you.
Starting the day with a good breakfast gives children the edge. Unfortunately one in four Australian children leaves home without it. US studies dating back to the 1960s (the Iowa Breakfast studies) first established the importance of breakfast and showed that hunger and lack of nutrition have adverse effects on children's learning ability. They reported that children who skipped breakfast felt tired and irritable, had trouble concentrating on the morning's lessons, and found complex mental tasks difficult.