EX­PERT Q&A

YOU Best Diets - - Family Diet -

Sports sci­en­tist and di­eti­cian Adrian Pen­zhorn an­swers some ques­tions about this diet:

What are com­mon mis­takes par­ents make with their kids’ eat­ing habits?

The are two ex­tremes: Ei­ther be­ing overly strict with a child’s in­take or giv­ing in com­pletely to their ev­ery wish. Both can re­sult in a poor re­la­tion­ship with food and un­healthy eat­ing habits. Of­fer healthy food re­peat­edly – even­tu­ally your child will eat it.

How can par­ents set an ex­am­ple for their chil­dren?

Be present and ac­tive in preparing meals and eat well with and in front of your chil­dren. Don’t set a rule for your chil­dren that you don’t fol­low. Try not to talk about any weight is­sues you may have. In­stead fo­cus on top­ics about be­ing healthy, ac­tive and making good choices.

What healthy snack ideas do you have for chil­dren?

Choose one or two items from the pro­tein and fi­bre food groups be­low and com­bine them for healthy snacks or meals. The same can ap­ply to adults, sim­ply in­crease the por­tion size. Pro­tein Meat, chicken, fish, milk, yo­ghurt, cheese, eggs, beans Fi­bre Fruit, veg­eta­bles, nuts, seeds, whole­wheat bread or crack­ers For lunch­boxes Try yo­ghurt, tuna sa­chets, boiled eggs, small blocks of cheese, crack­ers, dried fruit, nuts and seed bars – th­ese are easy to pack and will stay fresh in a lunch­box. You can freeze a small bot­tle of wa­ter to add to the lunch­box to keep the snacks cool. In terms of snacks such as chips and

chocolate, a good rule is the less the bet­ter. They can have th­ese once or twice a week. In­stead they can have yo­ghurt and fruit, an oat bis­cuit or a milk­shake. Opt for wa­ter in­stead of juice.

What are the best foods to help with con­cen­tra­tion and to keep en­ergy lev­els up?

Stay­ing hy­drated and bal­anc­ing your blood-sugar lev­els is best for both con­cen­tra­tion and en­ergy. Judge your level of hy­dra­tion by the colour of your urine – too dark means you’re drink­ing too lit­tle wa­ter and com­pletely trans­par­ent urine is a sign of too much wa­ter. Aim for a light straw colour. Com­bine high-fi­bre food such as fruit and veg­eta­bles, nuts and seeds, as well as beans or whole­grains with pro­tein from meat, chicken, dairy, eggs or fish to bet­ter bal­ance your blood-glu­cose lev­els and avoid en­ergy slumps. Try to eat smaller por­tions of starch and sugar, which can drain your en­ergy.

How can the fam­ily be kept mo­ti­vated?

Make the prepa­ra­tion and cook­ing of food ex­cit­ing. You can in­vent a game to de­cide what to make for din­ner. Or have a themed din­ner with healthy in­gre­di­ents, colours and shapes or have a party where ev­ery­one makes their own sand­wich fill­ing or pizza top­ping from a va­ri­ety of colour­ful, healthy in­gre­di­ents. Don’t use sweet treats as a re­ward. Make treats healthy: Make milk­shakes with milk, yo­ghurt, ice and a fruit or peanut but­ter. Use a wrap as a pizza base, swop chips for pop­corn and re­place sug­ary ce­re­als with oats and fruit.

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