The other night I watched a TV show that was truly shocking. Fast food baby aired on ABC2, and followed three children under three who ate fast food at every meal. EVERY meal! One child even had 6 cups of coke a day!
This type of diet for a child is nothing short of abuse. We were all outraged by the ‘smoking baby’ in Indonesia, but fast food for children does not elicit the same response. Why? In Australia, obesity has now overtaken smoking as the leading preventable cause of death. A diet consisting of only takeaway or convenience foods, will lead to obesity in nearly all cases. Yet people remain apathetic about food choices for children.
I see diet as one of the most important aspects of parenthood. Nutritional needs are massive in the growing child, and this should only be met with high quality nutritious food, filtered water and a balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. All additives should be removed from the diet of young children; they just are not safe, especially in the quantity and variety consumed in a modern diet (additives are only tested for safety individually, there is no data available on the effects of combining additives. Information on safe amounts is also not released, so the consumption of multiple foods with additives may in fact be exceeding the safe daily level).
We all want our children to be healthy, and most of us would never deny our children an important medicine if they were very ill. Good nutrition is the medicine that ensures good health. A good diet gives nutrients for growth, energy for play, helps build a healthy immune system, ensures good brain development and makes for happy, energetic kids. Fast food gives nothing but a lifetime of health issues.
If you have trouble choosing or preparing healthy foods for your kids, get some help. See a naturopath, nutritionist or your local child health centre. There are plenty of resources for parents out there. If you have a picky eater, check out this book http://www.mangetoutkids.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=74&Itemid=50
Good food can be prepared easily and affordably. I find it so satisfying to see my daughter eat a beautiful, healthy meal I made with love for her. I know you will too.
Link to fast food baby program http://www.abc.net.au/iview/?series=3399586#/series/3399586