The importance of a healthy diet to your kids


As a parent finding the right nutrition for your kids is very important. As we all know the right diet is instrumental in aiding your child’s physical and social development but how much of a factor does the right food really have? We decided to investigate the facts.

Bad behaviour
A study made by UK TV series “The Food Hospital” ran a test with children between 5-9 years of age at a kid’s party. The first group of children received healthy options such as apple slices, carrot sticks, sandwiches, hummus and drank water. The second group received typical party food which included lollies, potato chips, and sodas. (All food which contained a large amount of sugar, artificial colouring, and other additives.)
The results below showed a significant increase in bad behaviour between the two groups.

badbehaviour

Although more tests need to done to further cement the connection between a bad diet and negative behaviour the above results demonstrate a definite connection.

Health risks
Bad behaviour is just one of the results of an unhealthy diet. According to Victorian government website (betterhealth.vic.gov.au) the number of overweight children in Australia has doubled in recent years, with a quarter of children considered overweight or obese.

The numbers of obese children has more than tripled and at the current rate, furthermore from 1985 to 1995 the number of overweight 7-15 year olds almost doubled. It is predicted that 65 per cent of young Australians will be overweight or obese by 2020. Apart from a lack of exercise bad diet is major factors behind this shocking statistic.

Obesity is a pathway to many more serious health problems which can start to show early signs from a young age. This includes:

  • Type 2 diabetes- while most commonly seen in adults, it is now also being diagnosed in children
  • Eating disorders such a bulimia or binge eating
  • Orthopaedic disorders- problems with foot structure
  • Liver problems
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Cardiomyopathy- a problem with the heart muscle

Mental Illness
A Deakin University Study in 2011 showed a link between poor diets and an increased risk of mental health illnesses in teenagers between 11 and 18. Dr. Felice Jacka from Deakin University’s Barwon Psychiatric Research Unit suggests that kids who aren’t eating enough nutrient rich food could be predisposing themselves to health illnesses.

After analysing the diet and mental health of 3040 Australian teens aged between aged 11 and 18 years in 2005 and 2006 and then again two years later results found that even after accounting for factors such as socio-economic status, smoking and weight, those with better diets tended to have better mental health after two years, while things deteriorated for those with poor diets.

Further research into this alarming issue will be conducted however as you can see initial results are pointing towards the fact that the correlation between an unhealthy diet and mental illness is a strong one.

What foods to avoid
It’s important to teach your kids the importance of eating healthy food explaining the difference between “all the time food” and “sometimes food.”

It’s not expected that all unhealthy food be avoided 100% of the time however, it’s important to set boundaries to keep unhealthy food consumption such as cake and lollies to special occasions and not everyday life.
Replacing bad food with healthier options is also a fantastic way to ensure your kids are enjoying their meals while getting all required nutrition. Some ideas include:

  • Replacing desert with fruit
  • Create healthy versions of unhealthy meals.
  • Substitute fatty ingredients with low fat options e.g Full cream Milk to low fat, normal bread to whole meal, using quality cooking old.
  • Regulate portioning of all meals – discourage your children from binge eating
  • Maintain a balanced eating plan- Make sure kids don’t skip breakfast and eat 3 times a day.

Kool Kidz makes sure your children get the right nutrition
Dropping your kids off at your local childcare centre can disrupt the healthy diet that you’ve created for your children. Kool Kidz takes your child’s diet very seriously with all meals prepared by a cook with fresh healthy ingredients on site.

We understand how important it is for parents to see the quality food that their kids are enjoying on a daily basis, which is why we display a four to five week menu near the kitchen as well as in each of the children’s rooms. All of our menus are reviewed and evaluated by the service cook on a regular basis and feedback from parents is always welcome. Each Kool Kidz room also has a snack box which is accessible by the educators to provide food to children at any time they’re hungry.

Serving food is more than just feeding the children, our educators are expected to be role models during meal time sitting alongside the kids interacting and discussing healthy eating. We see meal time as a positive experience at Kool Kidz which why we encourage everyone to try and taste different foods prepared for them. In particular we encourage children to touch, smell and taste new and different foods on the menu which builds their appreciation for healthy eating and develops their food pallet.

Get more information about your local Kool Kidz today by calling us at 1800 Kool Kidz.