Recently there has been a lot of debate in the news about the amount of sugar in our diets. A new campaign group Action for Sugar has quite rightly called for a reduction in the amount of sugar in foods we eat. This is the ‘hidden’ sugars in foods where you don’t expect to find it. Soups, yogurts and so forth. I don’t like to think that i’m giving my children stuff which contains anything I don’t expect, but at the same time I think its important to take a step back and think sensibly about diet as a whole.
I am not the worlds best cook, but one thing I do which I’ve come to realise that many people don’t do, is to cook my children food from scratch using fresh ingredients the majority of the time. My mum taught me how to cook basic meals and this is one of the greatest life skills I have. I don’t need to buy tinned soup and ready meals, I can knock a meal up out of pretty much anything in the cupboard.
As a result my children eat food which most of their peer group wouldn’t even dream of touching. Brussell sprout risotto, fresh oily fish, all manner of cheeses, curry’s and fresh salads are a mainstay of our diet. We avoid anything that is low sugar as they contain more nasties than the sugar itself and limit sweets to special occasions and Saturdays. This has worked wonders as children can’t physically eat that many sweets in one go!
For me, as a mum I think its important to think about a balanced diet for your family and not to get overly concerned about these campaigns. Try to cook the healthiest and best quality foods for your children, go organic as much as you can. Have great quality meat once a week rather than rubbish everyday and go with your gut instincts. Yes, that yogurt or cereal might be high in sugar, but it contains lots of goodness in other ways. A banana contains the equivalent of 4 sugar cubes but you’d quite rightly consider that healthy. Try and take a sensible approach!
Don’t let your children miss out on vital goodness in food, I’ll never forget my health visitor telling me how she sees malnourished children daily in the affluent town where I live because their mothers feed them low sugar, low fat products instead of good quality nutritious foods! I also think if you become overly anxious about food in front of the children, either when buying it, or eating it or discussing it, that can install some very bad attitudes about food. I’d love to know what you think.
Disclaimer; I discussed this topic at a meeting with Yeo Valley as part of my brand ambassador programme. Check out their yummy yogurts and find more of my writing on their website.