‘I try to avoid the su­per­mar­ket with my younger chil­dren’

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Best Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

MOTHER-of-four and yoga in­struc­tor Janette Law­son is well aware of what the rec­om­men­da­tions are for her chil­dren to grow into healthy adults.

She has even taken all four chil­dren — Marco, 6, Max, 8, Chanelle, 14 and Sammy, 17 (pic­tured left) — to see a natur­opath for di­etary guid­ance. But she says be­ing aware is only half the bat­tle.

“With veg­eta­bles, it’s all but im­pos­si­ble to get them to ac­tu­ally eat them, so I hide them ninja style in sauces,” she says. “I make tomato pas­sata and cook down car­rots, cau­li­flower and cap­sicum in the sauce then blitz in a food pro­ces­sor. I’ll use it as the base of bolog­naise, in pizza, pasta and mild cur­ries like but­ter chicken. I’ve taken all the kids to a natur­opath for ad­vice on how to get ex­tra ve­g­ies into them and was told if I can’t get them to eat a va­ri­ety, find one they will eat and give them five serves of that a day.”

Janette says the big­gest chal­lenge she faces in get­ting her kids to eat a healthy diet is the “sug­ari­sa­tion of their palates”.

“As a child I re­mem­ber the oc­ca­sional chil­dren’s yo­ghurt in the dairy cabi­net of the su­per­mar­ket,” she re­calls. “But now half the cabi­net is mar­keted at chil­dren with yo­ghurts, cookie dough and flavoured milks. It makes it harder for kids to ap­pre­ci­ate the nat­u­ral sweet­ness of fruit. I try to avoid the su­per­mar­ket with the younger kids.”

Another chal­lenge in the house­hold is the overuse of de­vices, some­thing even Law­son finds dif­fi­cult.

“All of my chil­dren are ad­dicted (to their de­vices) but in their de­fence, I haven’t been the best ex­am­ple over the years,” she says. “I tried us­ing an app that shut down the phones be­tween cer­tain hours but I man­aged to dis­able my own phone in­stead, so I aban­doned that. The de­vices have caused con­sid­er­able dis­tress to my 14-year-old daugh­ter. There seems to be a se­ri­ous cy­ber-bul­ly­ing epi­demic among her year group.”

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