Healthy body, healthy mind

Healthy eating

Children are like wet cement – mouldable and impressionable. (This also means that the longer they ‘set,’ the harder it is to change.)

-Anne Ortlund


I can officially say that ignorance is bliss! Before I gained the knowledge that one should always read the labels on food packaging, I assumed I was a relatively healthy eater. I could not be more wrong. The amount of MSG (monosodium glutamate, otherwise know as E621) and the other E numbers (E100-180, E200-290, E322-494) present in food is enough to scare the wits out of any person. MSG is a food additive which is a flavour enhancer. It has virtually no flavour of its own, but neurologically causes people to experience a more intense flavour from the foods that they eat containing the substance.



Stock cubes, flavouring of 2-minute noodles, some smoked foods, energy bars and other convenient foods.

In my experience of working with children and parents, I have assessed that many children are not only consuming vast amounts of ‘junk’ foods, but are also dehydrated. They simply do not consume enough water (not juice, plain water with no flavouring) in the day to sustain their busy lifestyles. Further, children are not always getting the correct amounts of nutrients and minerals. Parents are opting for the quick and easy microwave meals and not taking enough time to plan and prepare. According to Creed and Salvesen (2010:216) apart from the obvious dangers; these additives usually cause extremely bad behaviour in children; they interfere with nutrient absorption and metabolism, and cause the brain chemistry to be somewhat scrambled, making learning difficult for them. Much of what is diagnosed today as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be linked to excess junk foods like potato chips from packets, sweets, colas, biscuits or other prepared foods containing these chemicals. Enough to make you consider what you are feeding your child?

Here are some handy tips:

Great ideas for healthy meals that include recipes

  • Eat good quality food
  • Include eggs. Eggs are one of the cheapest sources of high protein which most closely resembles human protein
  • Use wholewheat and whole grain foods
  • Include vegetables with a healthy dip. Make your own dips (hummus, mayonnaise, guacamole, etc.)
  • Include bananas. They are low in kilojoules but high in fiber and nutritional value
  • Include nuts, unsweetend-trail mix and dried fruit
  • Organic lean meats
  • There are some nutrients the body is unable to make – namely Vitamin C and the ‘essential fatty acids’ Omega-3 and Omega-6- so these are good nutrients to supplement
  • Never allow your child to skip breakfast
  • Make sure your child always has a bottle of water handy.

You have a duty as a parent to give your child the best you can. I suggest spending money on good quality ingredients, making time to prepare the food and eat together. Dinner time can be a wonderful way to connect and talk about the day. Try get the family involved in tidy-up time too.

A healthy body equals a healthy mind – your little one(s) deserve it!


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