We’ve seen him on Eat Well for Less changing people’s lives on how to enjoy healthy foods in a cheaper way, you may have also seen his 3 stone weight loss which he did by swapping his meals to be done with lean meats e.g lean mince chilli as a way to slash the calories but still enjoy his favourite meals… I chatted to Gregg Wallace about his thoughts on children’s health…
1) What were your main reasons for wanting to work with children in these books?
I myself didn’t have a great upbringing and I became a single parent 15 years ago. I wanted to help.
2) In your opinion, how do we get children actively being healthier?
I would like to see a small percentage of school time dedicated to cooking and nutrition and more encouragement into sport.
3) What do you think, are the barriers 6-18year olds face with cooking & being healthy?
The barriers are obviously what is going on at home. Filming Eat Well for Less has made me realise there is a chronic shortage of basic cookery skill.
Like The Body Coach, healthy kids is a big passion of mine. I don’t want the young kids to have to go through the mistakes I did (more on this to come), I also don’t want kids growing up being completely unaware of how food can make them feel and what can be done to make them feel their very very best – to me I want food to be celebrated to make us feel amazing rather than labelled as ‘healthy’ more labelled as ‘energy’ … anyway I could ramble on about this all day but there are some key things I wanted to share that I’ve read and heard from other parents thathelp them keep their kids healthy….
- Watch caffeine and sugar. This pays havoc on their hormones and their moods. Give them sugar and caffeine (diet coke etc) and they will have a huge spike in craziness and then a massive drop making them feel exhausted and prob moody… win win if we can manage this one.
- Keep them hydrated. Our brain often confuses hunger with thirst – monitor how much they are drinking and make sure they are having enough.
- Get cooking & get the kids cooking too. Playing a game of how many colours you can get on a plate makes the meal times more exciting, it gets them involved and educates them at the same time. Encouraging the kids to help make dinner could also encourage the whole family to eat a diverse range of meals and foods – kids get bored easily, so wont want to make the same meal over and over! Gregg has also released a cook book for kids by kids…you can buy here….
Personally for me, I think we should just get children as active as possible while watching the amount of sugar and processed foods we eat. I don’t think we should fuss about calories or make a big deal out of it because I think that can lead to other issues like becoming eating disorders or body confidence – allow kids to have treats but make them treats, I don’t believe processed or high sugary foods should be a staple in a diet, but if they have them more often then just get them moving to use the energy? I dunno maybe im wrong and maybe as im not a parent it’s easier for me to say the answer … either way, it’s a big passion of mine to make it easier for teenagers and children to make better choices because they want too.
How do you think we tackle getting kids healthy?