Sunday, January 22, 2012

Killer in your child's lunch box...

We all worry about the big, bad boogie man coming to snatch our babies from our backyards while they play, but the reality is that our child will die at our hands.... and we will kill them with love - and ignorance.

These are the facts -
  • one in FOUR of our children are overweight.
  • one in EIGHT will die before their parents due to obescity related illness.
(see more at the 2006 Australian Parliamentary Library e-brief)

And in 2011 we officially became the fattest nation on earth (Happy Australia Day!).

The reason is simple.  If we eat more calories than we burn, we get fat.  If we don't move, we get fat.  Not big boned.... not thyroid challenged.  Just fat.  Fat is not magical.  It cannot appear by itself.

You don't wake up 'fat' one morning.  It takes hard work and perseverance to get fat, and it is a hard lesson we also teach our kids.  It's statistically correct to say if you are fat, your children are fat, or will be fat.

Jo Johnson, our Monday Sweat Depot instructor, and the BEST kindy teacher in the world, witnesses daily what parents pack into kids lunch boxes and she has something to say.... 

It is very difficult to write something when you worry that you may offend people, but I think if what you have to say makes one person stop and think, then it is very worthwhile.

I have worked in a Kindergarten for over 25 years and I am increasingly disturbed by what I see in children's morning tea and lunch boxes.  Excuse me, but what has happened to real food?  We have a food and nutrition policy in place that parents are supposed to adhere to, but we may as well have written "blah, blah, blah" on the paper.

If you think there is an obesity problem now, we are in for a whole lot of shit in the future.  I spend the whole lunch break opening plastic and wrappers from something that the children try and eat.  Most of the time it is thrown in the bin because the child doesn't like it.  We (the teachers) then have to retrieve it from the bin and place it back in their lunch box so that the parent can see that their child didn't like or want it.  But then the next day the same food comes back in a fresh packet [this food is really expensive too - Erin].

The good: thanks to kids bento boxes at

The bad... and it's ugly...

Some children don't even have any 'real' food in their containers at all.  It is all pre-packaged food.  And what is this stuff called "fruit bars?".  Has anybody looked at the ingredients on the   back?There are more numbers there than there are in my age.  Ever since I have seen the introduction of the "fruit roll up" to the lunchbox I have also seen three year old babies getting their teeth capped.
It also seems to me that the more education we receive about exercise and nutrition the more we are ignoring it.

If I have one more parent say to me that obesity is hereditary in their family and their child is fat because they are, I think I will scream.  I hate to think that they would deliberately make their child over-eat to fulfill that excuse
We encourage children to play with technology and consequently they are becoming sedentary.  Please don't use technology as babysitting tools.  Encourage your child to go outside and play.  Early childhood educators are always saying that everthing that a child needs to learn about life begins in the back garden.  Join them.  You might even enjoy yourself.

This Australia Day, pack a healthy picnic, a ball (and your kids) and go have some fun at the park!
Enjoy your life!  Jo x

Want some healthy lunch box suggestions?  Stay tuned to this blog and.....

For daily recipes, training programs and lifestyles suggestions


Anonymous said...

Cant wait to see all of the lunch box suggestions!
Great post! :)

Anonymous said...

Fresh, home-made is the trick. Try to minimise pre-packaged and get the kids moving and outdoors. Well said Jo.