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