Yesterday, on the news, they reported the release of a new CSIRO diet book...one for children this time. More to the point, one that will guide parents in feeding their children, in an effort to curb childhood obesity.
It made me feel like the world has gone a little bit crazy. The lady on A Current Affair last night indicated that parents don't know how to feed their children well anymore....how do you get them to eat vegetables? How do you switch them back to water instead of juice? How indeed, I thought to myself as I looked at my water guzzling, vegetable eating, fruit loving children.
Has the world changed so very much in the mere 13 years I've been a mother? Do they not still teach new mothers that juice ruins teeth before they even erupt? Does anyone tell the new parents on the block that making your own baby food is really quite simple and oh so much cheaper...especially if your children eat like mine! Have people really forgotten how to cook from scratch?
I feel so much more determined in teaching my children these vital things. Oh I know cordial, fizzy drinks and chicken nuggets are so much more exciting in the eyes of a child. But I want my children to appreciate real food that does them good. I want them to understand the connection between what they eat and drink and their health in general....in a way that I didn't really understand until there were way too many kilos in the way. I want them to have the knowledge in their arsenal of life-skills to be able to steer clear of highly processed foods, and discerning tastebuds that prefer a home-prepared meal full of real flavours instead of fake ones.
How does a parent do that? In a most simplistic explanation, you feed them good food and expect them to eat it. You explain that when they don't like something they should eat that thing first or mix it with something else so the flavour isn't so intense. You keep in mind that when you introduce something new it might take them 10 tries before they decide it isn't so bad after all. Is that hard work and time consuming? Oh you bet! But it is so worth it! I'll never forget Mr Busy finally....finally! declaring my vegetarian lasanga edible...even enjoyable! We're still working on Moussaka's eggplant layers.
For those parents who know they're doing all the right things and yet continue persevere through daily dinner time trials ~ know that you're being applauded and admired in the deepest way. I know there are children out there who turn all the best parenting advice on its head and stomp on it. One day, when they're grown up's and feeding their own children, they'll appreciate you and all your efforts.