Bianca Tromp is well experienced in the world of nutrition and dietary. She is a Dietitian at FUTURELIFE and speaks to us about the importance of starting early with kids when it comes to healthy eating. She also sheds light on the company’s recently launched Start Smart Campaign.
How can parents teach their kids about nutrition and healthy food choices?
The best way to teach our children about nutrition is to lead by example. We need to show children what healthy eating is by eating healthy ourselves. Also try to include children when preparing meals and make them part of the experience. When chopping vegetables for instance, mention the benefits of vitamins, minerals, and fibre for both your child and for you. Let them taste the vegetables raw and cooked, let them tell you what they like about it and what the dislike. All these strategies may encourage them to experiment more with foods making it easier to include a variety of healthy foods in the diet.
If you have the capacity, planting a vegetable garden with your children is also a great way to talk about nutrition and persuade them to try new vegetables. Research the health benefits of each vegetable planted and explain them while planting, harvesting, and cooking these vegetables.
What are some healthy snack options for children?
There are many healthy snack options for children, and we need not rely only on sugary sweets or even high fat, high salt snacks. Good options for snack are cut fruit and vegetables, unsalted nuts, unsweetened dairy products like milk and yogurt and unsalted popcorn.
I know that my children need plenty of fruits and vegetables. Please talk about the reasons why a varied diet is essential and explain how to ensure a balanced diet when I have a picky eater at home.
Yes, we need to include 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day to ensure we meet all our vitamin and mineral requirements. Different vitamins and minerals play different roles in our body. Antioxidants like vitamin C may protect our cells against oxidative stress and supports the immune system while vitamin K contributes to normal bone structure. Since different foods contain different vitamins and minerals, we need to include a variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure we consume a variety of nutrients in adequate amounts.
Here are some tips to help your child enjoy a variety of foods:
Let your child help choose vegetables and fruit when shopping.
Let them help prepare the meals at home.
Before cooking, ask the child whether they would prefer vegetable A or vegetable B today.
Offer small portions at first.
A great way to consume more fruit is through a fruit smoothie.
How many calories should my kids consume in a day and does it increase if they play sports?
Growing children need to consume adequate calories to sustain growth and development. A child between 1-2 years requires on average about 4393kJ (1046 calories), a child 3-8 years about 7300kJ (1738 calories) and a child aged 9-13 years 9572kJ (2279 calories). These values may increase if your child is very active.
Tell us about the Start Smart Campaign, and why FUTURELIFE® came up with this campaign?
FUTURELIFE® are thrilled to launch their Start Smart Campaign, an opportunity for one lucky person to win a year worth of school fees for 2021. FUTURELIFE® was built on the vision to improve the lives of South African families through Smart Nutrition, and this exciting initiative is merely an extension of that commitment so that we can help future leaders start smart.
Tell us about the FUTURELIFE® bread and FUTURELIFE® cereal bars (Ingredients).
FUTURELIFE® has a high protein bread range consisting of 3 breads. The FUTURELIFE® High Protein Brown Bread, FUTURELIFE® High Protein Ancient Grain Brown Bread and FUTURELIFE® High Protein Oats & Honey Brown Bread. All these loaves are great options for lunchboxes as they are high in protein, high fibre, has a low GI and is a source of omega-3 fatty acids. Being low GI, this bread range provides a slow release of energy, keeping you fuller for longer.
FUTURELIFE’s High Protein Bar and High Protein Lite Smart Bars are excellent lunch box fillers. These bars are low GI and high protein. The High Protein Lite Smart Bar has a reduced carbohydrate and sugar content as well. These bars also contain MODUCARE®, a patented blend of plant sterols and plant sterolins proven to strengthen, restore and balance the immune system.
FUTURELIFE’s granola bars are crunchy, wholesome oat-based bars, suitable as a snack any time of the day. Providing 20 g of whole grains per serving, these bars are high in fibre, gluten free, and contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.