I have been personal training now for almost 10 years and whenever i’m chatting about diet and health and children come into focus you instantly feel that there is a huge sensitivity around this area. It was because of this I knew that when I had my first child I would face some big challenges along the roller coaster that is parenthood. Every parent wants to do the best they can for their child in every aspect and diet is no exception, however when you are as interested as I am about diet and health and then throw in some alternative thinking on how we should eat, the challenge of doing what you think is right by your child where food is concerned is a rocky road.
Sending our son off nursery is completely unavoidable for us, as it is for most people in this work driven society. It’s not only it’s the first time you fully hand over complete control to someone else of their daily activities, they also gain full control over what they eat. When viewing many nurseries you ask the same questions at each and judge each answer to see if you feel that this might be the one for your child. Food was always high up on the list of questions for me as being involved with health and fitness I know first hand what issues can be caused from a lifetime of bad dietary habits. Most nurseries would hand you over the menu proudly explaining that all the food was freshly prepared on site and that the menu had been designed with the help of a nutritionist.
When examining the menus in every single nursery we viewed we were shocked to see that almost every lunch was followed by a full-on sugary pudding. This just didn’t seem right to us, we’re not completely against sugar but to start your kids of on their journey through life like this just seems plain wrong. I deal with people every day that find it very difficult to give up daily sweet treats because once your in with these foods it is very difficult to get out. If an adult ate like this everyday, if I ate like this everyday, an indulgent pudding after every lunch, there is no way you could stay lean. Not only does this add on unneeded calories to their day it is also detrimental to their health because sugary puddings are extremely high on the glycemic index. The message of kids dental health is definitely not a new one, thats been around since I was a little one 30 odd years ago and probably even longer than that.
Once you taste food like this it is also very difficult to get this type of taste out of your mind for the rest of the day. So as an adult choosing your own foods, if you had this type of pudding at lunch your more likely to have something sweet after dinner too. This is the cycle of many of our dieting issues, so many people around the world struggle with this, so why would we start our children off like this? Why would we be training them to eat the way we are struggling not to eat? It makes no sense to me.
I’m sure by now you are reading this and thinking that we had always had issues with this kind of thing and that we were always ready for this fight. This just isn’t the case. The idea of bringing up our son sugar free was never the plan, we just naturally evolved into the idea. It started by just choosing a better option of a little fruit for pudding times. We soon realised that he was 100% satisfied with that and didn’t once look over to us and want what we had. He has found a love of strawberries and blueberries so much so that when you even mention the words his face lights up like your bringing out the absolute best treat he could ever have.
Some of the examples of puddings that were on the menus are, sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce, profiteroles, lemon tart, apple pie and chocolate cake with custard. So all the taste bud training we had done with a little fruit and some natural yogurt, which he was completely content with, was to be ruined through sending our little boy to nursery. And as stated before we have no choice in the matter of sending him to nursery because thats how we can afford to stay living in London. Ok, if this is the case we just need to find a nursery in the area that doesn’t include these kind of foods. Unfortunately even in an up and coming trendy’ish area in north East London doesn’t have a sugar free nursery. In fact do a Google search for “sugar free nursery London” and you actually can’t find one and I’m sure this is the case pretty much everywhere.
Luckilly, although we don’t have a sugar free nursery, we have a very understanding nursery and they have worked with us to only let our son have fruit or natural yogurt at pudding time. This is great for now and we can relax a little but this is only a temporary fix, right now he is still young enough so that you can give him something different and he won’t question it. What happens next? We always knew that we couldn’t stop this forever but we at least thought that we could hold it off until he’s about 2 or 3, as i’m writing this he is still 18 months old and I know there is a long road ahead if i’m to challenge this much more. Well my wife and I are going to challenge it, I think it really does deserve the effort. There are kids much younger than ours in all these nurseries eating all these puddings, training their sugar addictions for the rest of their lives. We are training them to struggle with exactly the same struggles that we have right now when facing the challenge of losing weight. Surely to do the best for them would be to train them the right way, the healthy way.
We are going to use this blog as a pedestal to shout out about all our sugar free challenges with our son. To share with you recipes that we come up with or discover along the way. We have also now decided that we should also go 100% sugar free, you can read more about that here. Please follow along with us and also discover the rest of the site and read all about the Meat and Four Veg Diet idea here.