Why do we find it so difficult to enjoy eating a wide variety of foods that are wholesome and mainly unprocessed?
Since the mid twentieth century we have had an increasing abundance of food in first world countries and at the same time the average life expectancy has gradually increased. Increased life expectancy has prompted scientists to start looking at what lifestyle factors improve our longevity. At the same time we have gone from concern about children being underweight and having nutritional deficiencies, to overeating being one of the major health concerns today. Of course diet, the food we eat, has been studied extensively in this context. As a result of this research we have had an abundance of dietary advice in the past fifty years. This advice has included:
- the low fat diet
- the Pritikin diet
- the Atkins diet
- the low saturated fat diet
- the low carb diet
- the paleo diet
- the sugar-free diet
- the 5:2 diet
Some of the above dietary advice is based on the best evidence that was available at the time. However some of the diets listed above are based on current fads and dare I say, people wanting to make money.
None of these ‘diets’ are suitable for children and in fact may be harmful. For children, the current advice is to offer a variety of foods from all the food groups according to the foods that your family likes eating. Once you decrease or eliminate a whole food group or type of food such as fat or grain foods or dairy, your child may not be getting all the nutrients they need for health, growth and learning.
Your child may not eat every food that you offer, however repeated neutral exposure, trusting your child’s appetite, having structured mealtimes and eating with you child as much as possible are the best ways of widening the foods that your child will eat.
If you need advice on any of these strategies or have concerns about your child’s nutrition, make an individual appointment with Eve on 02 94374752 or contact us online.