Running out of milk at breakfast time, (skimmed may I add), inspired me to write this. I felt overwhelmingly sad as the cashier behind the till of my local express supermarket expressed a politically simple solution to childhood malnutrition that we have in this country today.
You are probably wondering what childhood malnutrition? I’m talking about the malnutrition that makes 1/3rd of our children overweight or obese. But that’s not what compelled me to write this blog today. It was what I heard and saw.
As I nipped out for milk at 8am I saw children our children fueling on energy drinks and coffee, crisps and chocolate for breakfast. Apparently, according to the cashier this is the norm – her simple solution, energy drinks, products containing caffeine should be banned for all under 16’s!
How have we, in this time of plenty, got to this point? What happened to children leaving home with breakfast and being ready with the right type of energy to fuel their brains?
So, I write this blog to apologise to all those school children because we have failed them. We the adults have failed them because:
- We don’t understand or choose to ignore the poor food choices our children are making because it has become the acceptable norm.
- We haven’t taught them the importance of good nutrition from day one and the impact on their performance, in the same way that we taught them to say please and thank you.
- We have made drugs, like caffeine and sugar, too readily available and the social norm.
- Our education system doesn’t prioritise good nutritional guidance and the development of healthy relationships with food as top of the list
- Our government would rather see profits than healthy children and hasn’t legislated enough to restrict the availability of drugs like caffeine and high sugar snacks and drinks to under 16’s. The impact of this is now prevalent with the raising costs to the NHS of treating obesity, heart disease, diabetes and now increasing childhood obesity and diabetes! Really! What else needs to happen before we see change??
So, my darling children that I saw today queuing for your sugar and caffeine fix, I apologise for failing you and I write this as a start to take more action.
It is time to say to the government – NO. Enough is enough. Short term profit is costing in the long term, not only in money but in health and lives.
It is time to say to schools – STOP. Prioritise good nutrition and mindful eating. Slow down the fueling process, educate children and provide them with the right choices. Lead by example, staff, teachers and all.
It is time to say parents – TAKE CONTROL. It is not ok to follow the norm. It is time to change the social norm to a healthier place and environment for our future adults and their children to come. It is ok to teach our children to learn about fueling their bodies right to be the very best they can be for ever!
It is time to say adults – TEACH ME if I don’t understand. Help me find the right people with the right, safe messages to teach me to keep healthy and safe and eat right for life. So, that the consumer voice is so loud that retailers must shift.
Let demand for healthier, more affordable foods drive the market place to provide. It is time to change and influence the market place so that we never see children choosing energy drinks, chocolate, crisps, and high caffeine drinks for breakfast again.
So, my darlings I apologise and thank you for my lesson today, it’s time for change.
If you need more information or help on how much sugar are we or our children eating and what to change get in touch below ans leave me a comment. would love to hear your thoughts on this. Dimple x