Should calories be on children’s menus?

Should calories be on children’s menus?

This question came up when the Nottingham Post contacted me recently about a local woman who was worried calorie information on children’s menus could encourage, amongst other things eating disorders

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There is no getting away from the fact that child obesity is on the increase; in England the latest data* shows that nearly 23% of 4-5 year olds and 34% of 10-11 year olds are either overweight or obese.  The NHS under certain circumstance will even carry out bariatric surgery (gastric bands etc) on children; 23 operations for patients aged 12-17 were undertaken between 2011 – 2013

obesity

As with many things the answer of whether or not children’s meals should carry calorie data is not that simple.

Growing children have high calorie needs for bone, brain and muscle development, they are also (generally) more active and therefore need a full range of different foods to supply those calories.

children menu

But why all the concern in the first place, surely a few extra cakes, biscuits, cans of fizzy drinks or burgers can’t do that much harm, Can they?!

According to the NHS

Children who are overweight or obese can develop health problems during childhood because of their weight. Health problems can include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, fatty liver disease, gallstones and risk factors for heart disease. These health problems have traditionally been problems just affecting adults, with overweight and obese adults having an increased risk of developing them. But because of the rises in the levels of childhood obesity, some of these obesity-related health problems are now affecting younger people.

 

If manufacturers and retailers go down this route maybe a traffic light system may be the better option.  Red; approach with caution (occasional treat), Amber; have as part of a balanced diet and Green; ‘fill your boots’

And finally I think the best way for children to learn how to eat healthily is to be guided by a parent, grandparent or carer.  So us adults have to lead by example and learn to love our veggies, especially the green leafy kind and all those wonderful and colourful vegetables and fruits, snack on fresh fruit, drink plenty of water, limit the amount of processed and fast food that’s available and as family get active

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There is lots of advice out there to help you and your families to make healthy choices, check out these websites: British nutrition foundation, NHS, gov.uk-school meals, children food trust, eat better start better

Or simply look though my blog and find family friendly recipes and dishes.  I also offer nutritional advice and cooking lessons that are all family friendly

Do you want to lose weight

* House of commons briefing paper Obesity Statistics Number 3336, 20 March 2018

Are you on track for a healthier 2018?

Are you on track for a healthier 2018?

On the first of January did you make your New Years resolutions, and was one of them to lose weight this year, or get fitter, or reduce your cholesterol levels?

time for change

How’s that going?

Making big sweeping changes to your life is hard, that’s why most resolutions last for about 3-6 weeks before you slip back to your old ways.

A current client has said, “I now understand when I eat something different how it affects my calorie intake.”

As a nutrition coach, based in West Bridgford, Nottingham I help clients to set realistic goals by using CBT (Cognitive Behavioural CBTTherapy) techniques to turn negative feelings into positive behaviours and to support them to make small but permanent changes to their lifestyles.  For instance if you always have a biscuit with a cup of tea, I would suggest you change your type of tea to a fruit tea, green tea, or even a black coffee.  You have changed a part of your habit and the association with that habit

A client who has successfully lost weight commented that Susan’s advice is always sensible and motivational and I love her low calorie alternative recipes.”

fast foodIf you eat takeaway meals 3 or 4 times a week I would initially recommend a reduction to only twice a week with some healthy vegetable packed homemade alternative recipes for you to try.  The takeaways can also be made healthier with a few tweaks, for instance swap a creamy based curry for a tomato version like a rogan josh, share a portion of chips, add more vegetables or serve your burger with a homemade salad

Here’s what a client of mine said about some of the techniques I use I love the 80/20 rule as it stops me going on a guilt trip!

Small but permanent changes are more manageable and therefore more likely to succeed, and as a trained chef I am able to adapt your favourite recipes so they remain healthy, tasty and delicious.

If you need some cooking confidence then why not come to my cooking sessions.  For more information click on http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/blog/next-vegan-cookery-class/

I believe the key to successful Weight loss is to concentrate on all the delicious foods you can eat rather than the foods you can’t

To help keep you on track this year why not take up my offer of a FREE 20 minute consultation.  We would discuss your existing issues and where you would like to be and how to get there.free nutrition session

This is followed by a 50 minute session at a cost of £40.  Whatever your unique situation is, I offer individually tailored support to help you develop a healthier lifestyle.

I also have an offer of 3 sessions for £100

Let me help you make those changes.

Call or text me on 07946 301338 or email at susan@nutrition-coach.co.uk

Please visit my website for more information http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk and check out my blog, where you will find lots of delicious healthy eating recipes http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/blog/

Veganism from an omnivores perspective

Occasionally I like to have guest bloggers, it’s interesting to get a different perspective.  So I’ve teamed up with Jade the Notts Foodie http://www.nottsfoodie.com.  She is a Nottingham based food lover and critic who is dedicated and passionate about trying as many new foods and experiences as possible.

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A few weeks ago I did a guest blog on her site about the great vegan food at Baresca http://www.nottsfoodie.com/baresca-vegan-review/

Baresca

Its now her turn ………..

 

Veganism from an omnivores perspective Guest blog – by local food blogger Notts Foodie

 

“I’m a vegan” the three words that can put dread into many a carnivore. Up until a few years ago those words would have me rolling my eyes and searching for a different conversation. It was only when I met my colleague, a vegan, who educated me and broke down some assumptions I’d made.

Oscar and Rosies

Oscar and Rosies

The issue lies, I believe, with the media’s portrayal of vegans. With almost 600,000 people within the UK choosing the lifestyle (that’s more than the population of Nottingham and Derby combined) it’s likely that we’ve all met one or two, whether you were aware of them is a different question. It seems that people only tend to remember the vegans who are vocal, passionate or portrayed in a bad light. These vegans are the ones I’d previously only been aware of and are the reason for the discriminating mind set I’ve worked hard to shift.

Before I go any further I want to point out that this isn’t a blog about name calling it’s merely my experiences of veganism as a fully-fledged carnivore and how, with the help of education and understanding, I’ve come to admire that way of life.

top 5 vegan restaurants

Cafe Roya, RobeRoom, Zizzi, The Peacock, The Kiosk

 

When I met my colleague I didn’t have a clue what type of foods vegans eat, I wouldn’t know what to feed one, whether I should be cautious about showing her the pictures on my food blog or whether I should feel guilty that I’m not offering her a cup of tea. After several months of working together I started to ask those stupid questions to try and get a better understanding and stop feeling guilty for my own lifestyle choices. I found out at this point that she didn’t like cruelty to any animal, she used to eat meat, used to be a pescetarian which progressed to vegetarian and then eventually veganism, she also wasn’t vocal about it as she saw it as her choice. I liked this and I loved the fact that she had no intention of trying to make me a vegan.

thai-tofu-curry

Roll forward three years and I now have an idea about what to feed her if she came around for tea, that Oreos are an easy biscuit choice, dark chocolate is vegan (this blew my mind!) and that you can be unhealthy. I’ve also come to realise that there will always be people who are ignorant and who have no intention to cater for them. This annoys me now. I’m not talking about restaurants I’m talking about things like BBQ settings, work functions where dietary requirements are ignored or being given vegetables (and then offered ice cream to apologise!)

willow and dove vegan choc

As a carnivore I’m glad that I’ve had a chance to ask stupid questions in an informal setting without the worry of being patronising or being converted. Some of the stupid questions I’ve asked and genuinely want to know the answers to are below – sorry in advance.

  • What do you eat?
  • If I gave you a million pounds would you eat this?
  • Can you go out to eat in restaurants?
  • What’s the issue with honey?
  • Don’t you like the taste of meat?

vegan 12th

If you’re reading this as a meat eater but have that feeling or instant thought of “eurgh vegans” then I ask you to go away and find one that will help you understand their life. My colleague is great as she is aware that I am blissfully ignorant in terms of animal cruelty and I don’t want to know. I want to be in my own bubble and she accepts that, just as I accept that she’s been brave enough to burst her own bubble. Just make sure that you make clear your intentions and why you’re looking to know more, it’s not to be converted and it’s not to find ammunition it’s purely education. You never know, one day vegans may rule the world.

chocks cake

Chocks Away, Nottingham City airport