Healthy eating and reducing obesity levels in young children is a big issue in western countries and particularly here in the UK where the stats seem to be rising quite dangerously. This is a huge part of the reasoning behind free school dinners for infant children and the healthy schools initiative. Both of which are carried out in school my daughter attends. Because of this and the food I control and allow my daughter to have means she most definitely gets 5-7 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
Breakfast will be something like this, either bread or toast and fruit with a cup of water or no added sugar squash. Banana is the fruit of the day here.
I also give Evie vitamins because they are essential in making sure her immunity levels are kept high and she gets a mix of everything rather than just the goodness of fruits and veggies. I choose the Forever Living Kids Daily Vitamins which are around £10 for 100 tablets. Children can take up to four a day and they are grape flavoured so they smell quite nice and Evie really likes the taste. You can buy them at http://freashandpure.flp.com
Evie also gets two snacks a day from school. One I provide which has to be a healthy snack which basically means fruit or veggies and in the afternoon they get a choice from the fruit and vegetable box at school. Evie has had tomatoes, carrots and bananas as the most common snack provided by the school. I have sent her in with rasins and mixed berries before. We can’t send in nuts or pineapple due to children having allergies in school which is a shame as nuts can be perfectly healthy and provide texture to berries and seeds. However very understandable as it can be so dangerous to those with allergies. We tend to get a 12 pack of rasins for £2 from sainsburys.
I then choose her meals for the week so I know exactly what type of school dinner she has and each and every day it includes a good portion of veg. I really love this incentive in schools and I hope that the government do not get rid of this because it is saving us a huge amount of money each year as well as giving Evie a hot meal every day. She doesn’t always want one in the evenings because she’s usually hungry after the long walk home from school so providing a picnic plate or soup is easier for us all as there are no long waits for tea in the evening.
This then brings me on to my meals I cook and make for her. I love cooking especially now the weather is getting cooler and slow cookers provide nutrition and hearty meals and soups without much maintenance. Adding things like lentils into soups and stews add texture and a great healthy option. Then things like sweet potato and squash which are really filling help to bulk whatever I’m making out and they are so versatile.
However even though we have fruit in the fridge, I don’t really snack much. So I know I don’t get my five a day because I only eat two meals a day. I always make sure there is a vegetable of some sort on the plate but I do have to rely on supplements to get all my nutrients these days. What can I say? We live in a busy world! I’m glad though that I can get more healthy food into Evie.