Thursday, 5 April 2007

Can healthy be unhealthy?

Twelve weeks into my WW journey and I'm realising that things aren't quite what they seem... Prior to WW, I looked at certain foods or food types as 'healthy' without really having a clue of whether they were or weren't. I simply went by reputation...I'm learning that rep isn't everything.

As a single parent, I've been lucky on this attempt (3rd and final) at WW - my son's supportive and he's adopted a lot of the foods that I am using on my journey. While I wouldn't necessarily prepare the same meals for him, I use the same principles. It's benefitted both of us immensely!

My nephews have been staying here each day this week and I must confess that I felt quite annoyed when yesterday I was told that I was 'giving too much junk' to them. It wasn't their mum saying this - but them! While I do relax the necessity for vegetables a touch when they're around, I definitely would not let them exist purely on junk. They're old enough to accept or reject what's placed before them, so I let them choose our lunch yesterday (I opted'll see why).

The lunch I prepared on Tuesday was homemade wholewheat pizza dough and homemade tomato sauce topped with their choice of reduced-fat cheddar, mozzarella, pineapple chunks and lean home-cooked ham. For dessert, I made some cookies earlier using half-sugar and a very low fat margerine. I don't cook using anything other than flora diet for butter and I kept the salt purely to the dough (1tsp).

So, what did they choose for lunch? They selected frozen chicken and vegetable pies. I declined as the saturated fat content was massive thanks to the pastry. I decided I would keep it healthy for them and made some potato and broccoli mash to accompany. Oh, and some spinach too but didn't offer it to them as they retched at the utterance of its name. While the nephews ate ALL of the pie, they didn't touch the mash which, in my opinion, was the healthiest part of that meal! I actually felt quite proud of my son as he cleared all of his plate - apart from the pastry which he said tasted 'weird'. Children appear to be confused by the media and reputation into believing what's good for them. Yes, the cheese on the pizza was high in fat, but it didn't even compare to the fat in the pastry.

Today's lunch? Swamp soup (cream of potato and spinach) with homemade bread...but I don't expect them to eat much of it! So I have the wok on standby!

While kids can be founts of wisdom, I've learned it is probably best not to rely on them for healthy eating advice! Innocently, they absorb and believe the advertising companies slogans of foods like cereals being "wholesome" and "healthy". Perhaps instead of banning junk food advertising on TV or running healthy eating programmes in schools, there should be a focus on educating children and adults about being media-smart as well as getting their nutritional advice from professionals...and not of the ad sort!

No comments: