Forcing 'picky eaters' to try food they do not like 'makes them more likely to become anxious'

posted Sep 19, 2015, 6:58 PM by Chris Fortune

Researchers find anxiety caused by food neophobia - the fear of tasting new things - could be made worse by parents frustrated by 'picky eater' children

Making young children eat food they have not tried before could do them more harm than good, new research warns.

The study suggests it could lead to the youngsters growing up to be anxious adults with low self-esteem.

Researchers found that anxiety caused by food neophobia - the fear of tasting new things - could be made worse by parents who become evermore frustrated by children who they perceive as "picky eaters".They also found that neophobic children generally had higher anxiety levels and lower self-esteem than their peers. The researchers urged parents to be patient with youngsters they considered to be fussy eaters.

Two and three year-olds rejecting unfamiliar foods is a typical phase in child development, that most grow out of after the age of five. But children who suffer from neophobia show signs of anguish and anxiety that can develop into a habit in adulthood.

Truth about kids' fast food:

posted Sep 19, 2015, 6:38 PM by Chris Fortune

McDonald's milkshakes with more sugar than a seven year old should have in a day, a Wagamama kids meal with high fat and a Pizza Express offering with half a child's daily salt intake are among the findings of our survey

Most meals for kids from fast food outlets and restaurants are "high in fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt which encourage kids to favour sweeter, fattier and saltier foods" an investigation has found.

Research into fast food menus for kids by Mirror Online and examined by the British Dietetic Association has found high sugar, salt and fat across some of Britain's most well known food chains.

A kids burger meal from KFC has total fat content of 26g - almost 50% of a childs' recommended fat intake.

One pizza from Pizza Express contains contains almost half the amount of salt a child should have in an entire day.

In Nando's a frozen yoghurt for kids has two thirds of the recommended amount of sugar for a child.

A small milkshake from McDonald's alone provides almost more sugar than a seven-year old should have in a whole day.

The Kids Veggie Burger from Burger King – consisting of a veggie bean patty, tomato ketchup and a sesame seed bun has 7.6g of sugar - almost two teaspoons.

The hit of sugar in the innocuous sounding burger is among the findings in a Mirror Online investigation into how healthy fast food meals for children are.

Educators Get ‘Sugar-Free’ Message

posted Sep 19, 2015, 6:35 PM by Chris Fortune

Nelson Marlborough District Health Board Principal Dental Officer, Dr Rob Beaglehole is taking the‘sugar free’ message to principals, heads of departments, health co-ordinators and other educators during the region’s Oral Health week.

Dr Beaglehole says the recent media publicity around Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, or SSBs, has raised community awareness of the effects of too much sugar in our diets.

“School boards and teachers play an important role in raising awareness so we need to keep building on the available resources to empower parents and adolescents to make healthy choices.

“The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board has been at the forefront of this discussion with the removal of sugar-added beverages on the shelves of our cafes and shop.

“I believe that most adults are aware that sugar has become the new ingredient of concern, but many lack the skills in translating the messages in relation to their family’s diet,” he says.

Dr Beaglehole will share key messages with educators, invited by NMDHB Public Health, on engaging students in the sugar reduction campaign at ‘THAT SUGAR FILM...and YOUR school’ presentations in Blenheim and Nelson. This will cover school initiatives and an examination of the role of SSB Guidelines in school events and fundraising activities.

Each educator will receive a free NMDHB-sponsored copy of ‘That Sugar Book & DVD’ by the Australian documentary maker, Damon Gameau and other information.

“Each year in New Zealand, over 35,000 children aged under-12 have rotten teeth extracted due to excessively sugary diets and other junk foods,” he says.

“Dental caries or ‘tooth rot’ is one of the most common reasons for children’s admission to hospital.

“Decay and abscesses caused by sweetened beverages can hasten the process of children losing their baby teeth,” he says.

“And if children are struggling through school with the pain and distraction of rotting teeth, it can cause behavioural and development problems which has dire consequences for their schooling – and their prospects as adults. I urge schools and educators to take the messages into their communities and look at what they can do to reduce the sugar intake in our children.”

Kiwis, on average, consume about 54 kilograms of sugar a year, equivalent to 37 teaspoons of sugar a person every day. The World Health Organisation recommendation for a maximum sugar intake is three teaspoons per day for children and six teaspoons per day for adults.

Bayfield High School menu wins excellence award

posted Sep 19, 2015, 6:25 PM by Chris Fortune

Here's food for thought: generally, young people absolutely love pies, chips, lollies and fizzy drinks.

But since all those items have been banished from the Bayfield High School canteen menu and replaced with freshly-made sandwiches, salads and wraps, the canteen has been making more money in a day than it previously did in a week.

The success of the canteen has won the school a New Zealand Heart Foundation Heart Start Excellence Award - the first secondary school in Otago to receive the award.

Principal Judith Forbes was not surprised by the canteen's rise in popularity.

''Some people think that young people might not want to buy and eat healthy food, but actually, there's been enough education around now that young people are just as committed to it as anybody else - and parents are a whole lot happier too.''

The revamped menu came about when pupils and staff decided early last year that their school food was unappealing and unhealthy.

A student health team was established to survey pupils on the matter and ask for healthy food suggestions.

The team then presented their ideas at the Dunedin Health Promoting Schools competition, where it won awards for both having the best ideas and for making the best presentation on the day.

Then, with some help from teaching staff and the New Zealand Heart Foundation, the school created a nutrition policy.

Since then, pies, chips, lollies, fizzy and energy drinks have been replaced by water, juice, fresh sandwiches, wraps and salads - even barista-made coffee can be bought at the canteen.

Mrs Forbes said the business boom was in part because foods were now produced almost entirely from scratch on site, which cut costs; and sales had spiked because pupils were so keen to get their hands on the tastier, healthier and more attractive food being sold.

Year 13 pupil Ruby Shingleton (17) said she bought food at the canteen almost every day because it was fresh, it tasted good and it was healthy.

''It's really good. It actually makes you feel full.

''I used to buy fizzy drinks, pies, cookies and lollies, and I was always really tired and hungry.

''Now I feel really good.''

Mrs Forbes said there had been a noticeable change in pupil behaviour at the school since the menu changes.

''The pupils are more focused after lunchtime.

''In the past, there was a lot of soft drink and lollies being sold in the canteen, and what we've found is that students do settle better to work without that.''

The refreshed menu:
Filled bread buns $4.50
Sweetened breads $2.20
Fruit muffins $2.00
Wraps $4
Bagels $5
Sliders (mini buns) $3 or two for $5
Salads $5 (add extra meat for $1)
Savoury scones $2.50
Bottled water $2; juice $3.50
Freshly made fruit smoothies $5
Coffee, tea and hot chocolate (for year 13 and staff only)

The menu changes with the seasons.

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