Voice of reason

A STAGGERING 99 per cent of kids don’t eat the recommended amount of fruit and veg, according to a recent report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The government report spins some of its findings, noting that 17 per cent of 2-5 year olds “met” physical activity guidelines.

Healthier food

“Seventeen per cent meeting the recommendation sounds significantly better than 83 per cent not meeting them,” Parents’ Voice campaign manager Alice Pryor says.

Parents’ Voice is an online forum with tips on how to get your kids eating healthier food.

They also wants parents to be pro-active and lobby the government and the food industry to reduce the amount of fat and sugar in kids’ food and drinks.

Hilton nutritionalist Cat Walker is a mother of three and knows how important a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables is for kids.

• Cat Walker with her son Davey (left) and her newborn baby. Photo by Jenny D’Anger

A poor diet, lack of physical activity and being above a healthy weight are risk factors for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and 13 types of cancer.

Parents’ Voice’s food “detective program” outs food products that claim to be healthy options, particularly breakfast cereals.

The organisation wants Aussie supermarkets and retailers like Target and Kmart to reduce the amount of lollies and sugary drinks at the checkout.

A plea that has fallen on deaf ears, “despite a growing number of retailers in the UK, US and Canada doing so,” Ms Pryor notes.

The organisation is also pushing for fast food operators to offer water as their first choice of drink with meals, instead of coke.

“It’s a change in language; a little thing that can make a big difference,” Ms Walker says.

For more information go to parentsvoice.org.au

by JENNY D’ANGER

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