I was looking after my five year old niece yesterday when she turned and asked for another chocolate biscuit. With lunch just around the corner, I said no, one is enough for today. She looked at me with such confusion and with the biggest smile said: ‘But one is never enough!’
Resisting the temptation to laugh, I started getting her food ready. But it made me think, maybe my little niece had a good point….is one ever enough? When I think of my own habits, I’ve two biscuits with tea, always eat the both fingers of a Twix ® and Kit Kat ® and definitely have more than two portions of takeaway pizza! I’m also really active and try my best to get my ‘five a day’ so is it really a problem having more than one chocolate biscuit?
I guess like anything, it’s all about a healthy balance. My niece is a healthy weight, she’s growing really well, has a great diet and is always so active. But bad habits start at a young age, eating patterns set in the early years can define a kid’s health for life. Childhood obesity is on the increase and around one in three children under 15 is overweight or obese and kids as young as seven are developing the type of diabetes associated with overweight adults.
Remembering the chief medical officer’s comment recently saying that ‘an entire generation is being destroyed by a diet of junk food and sugary drinks’, I’m happy I limited her treat to just one. As an aunt and health professional, I have to be responsible for what she eats when she’s with me and setting a good example is our main role as adults.
So my motto now: Keep it healthy and varied and be as active as you can. Once you do that, then on occasion, an extra treat won’t hurt.’