Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Parents ban bad food ads

        Parents vote to ban adverts for "bad foods" before the watershed. But will it help??
I read an interesting article today on the BBC website which underlined how a poll of over 1,000 parents found that more than half felt that adverts for junk food made giving their child a healthy diet more difficult. 65% of the parents surveyed felt that adverts which promoted food high in salt, sugar and fat should be banned before the 9pm watershed.

It is an interesting theory that adverts being banned could make a difference, but I am a bit perplexed why parents feel the need to give in to their children pressuring them to buy these foods. Of course, I am not yet in the position in which my daughter is at the age to be influenced by adverts in such a way and therefore have not the experience as to yet, but I would like to think that I would be able to stand up for myself and say "no" when she demands unhealthy food.

It is so refreshing to hear children saying to their parents "that's healthy food isn't it?" when being given fruit and vegetables. I think that some schools and childcare settings are really boosting children's knowledge about healthy foods and healthy living and I hope that my daughter will have the same experiences. But most of this learning should start at home.

I have a little routine in our house, some would say it is a bit too organised, but I am trying to make sure we eat healthily as a family. I make a list every week of what we will eat each day, which is written on a whiteboard in the kitchen. I make sure we have 2 fish meals each week, 1 non-meat day, 1 chicken or turkey meal, 1 beef or lamb, and 1 pork meal. The final day usually doubles up with either chicken or pork. This way we are getting a variety of healthy foods and making sure we get the recommended amount of fish in our diet.

Our daughters meals are written down too, to make sure she has a varied diet as we only eat together at weekends due to my husbands work hours. I work on the same principle as our weekly plan, making sure she gets 2 fish meals too. By writing it down, I also make sure she gets a varied meal plan rather than rice for 3 days in a row, for example. Where I cook in bulk and freeze her meals, she eats the same food as we do, I just defrost it the night before and make sure it is reheated correctly for her. This is a great money saver too!!

So, back to the timing of adverts, I will have to reserve judgement on whether this would make a difference as I think if parents are already giving their children access to unhealthy foods, they will continue despite the times the adverts are on. We just need to learn to say no to our children, no matter how much grief this may cause, and remember that the odd treat isn't so bad ( my daughters treat day is usually Saturday!!) Educate them on keeping healthy, and that could be a good start!!

photo is of my daughter at the age of 1, when she had her first taste of chocolate!

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