Fat and Broke!
Wake up! this is your children's lives.
A few tips for young people who really do not want to be fat and/or broke!
“Hello”! Yes I’m talking to you if you’re young or have young children. This is aimed at the ‘couch potatoes’ and poor souls that think they really do more than enough for their kids already and are sooooo stressed out! WRONG! You don’t do anything for your kids if they’re eating junk food and at 2 or 3 years old look like little barrels!
YOU are KILLING them! You may as well feed them Paraquat or arsenic lady! (and gents of course).
Like Jamie Oliver, our much beloved youngTV chef and author of many fabulous cook books, I don’t pussy-foot around; I tell it like it is. Your kids are going to die before you do if you continue to feed them the way you’re doing. What’s wrong with you? Are you stupid or what?
Food Habits: The most important fact to recognize is that food habits are set at a very young age. Start your kids off snacking and they'll never be able to convert to normal eating. Snacks fill them up! and this is the same for us adults. Snack all day and kid yourself you don't eat much because you can't eat a full meal! self delusion. Plain fact! Snacking kids will not want to eat what you've just cooked. So you get disheartened and give up cooking and just let them live on junk. THINK about what you're doing! stop the snacks. More importantly, don't start them in the first place. Kids really do NOT need them. It's in your head not theirs. Get them into good habits from the word go. It's too easy to give them a biscuit or a packet of crisps when they're grizzling and harassing you. DON'T DO IT! Try sitting down with them for 10 minutes and interacting in their games, or just give them a cuddle!
I’m a Grandmother of 9 children and Great grandma to 3, so I know what I’m talking about, so kindly have the courtesy to listen. Stop playing with that damned computer and read on; your future and theirs depends upon it!
Cooking is fun and enjoyable: It’s a sad fact of life that the young people of today have no idea how to cook or enjoy cooking! They’ve no idea how to make their limited money work for them and in consequence end up buying and eating food that fills them temporarily and is not good for them – in other words, - junk food. And with an empty purse. But, oh yes, I forgot, the DHSS will pay for it!
So, I’ve made a walloping statement and can feel a lot of hackles rising. But I challenge anyone to show me evidence to the contrary! The statistics show the evidence. (Quote The Science Daily Ezine and Daily Telegraph – July 09).
Not only are we bringing up a nation, (and here I talk about my own country Britain, but I have no reason to doubt the same is happening all over the so called ‘first world’) of fat, lazy piglets, we are damaging their ability to learn, affecting their brains, their mobility and ultimately their life span, and causing them grave psychological damage in the process.
- Come on! Truthfully, who wants to be fat, useless and stupid into the bargain? And end up with heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes or a whole host of obesity related problems, finally dieing at far too early age. This is no longer an exaggeration, it’s a verifiable fact.
Let’s not pull any punches here; what we’ve done to the last two generations in failing to instill in children the good old fashioned basic cookery skills is nothing short of criminal. We’ve condemned our children to a hard, slow, miserable and painful early death. And the Governments of the time must take a large proportion of the blame in the cutting of the domestic sciences education in the past twenty or so years. They seem obsessed with making profit and hitting targets, all at the expense of our future generations. They are ignorant of the basic skills that have been lost. But are they interested? I think not! They certainly do not listen to people at the grass roots level, namely concerned professionals in the health and social services sector and most of all, Parents and Grand-parents.
How can we as concerned adults influence any choices? We seem to be voiceless and powerless in the face of the present government, who had the arrogance to take us into all sorts of political situations alongside America, of which we were not democratically balloted. Brown, Thatcher, Blair – dictators every one of them. How can we help our floundering generations of young people? What remedies are we able to offer them? And more to the point, will they listen now or is it already too late? Two generations down the road with the attitude that they don’t need to cook because Tesco and Sainsbury’s will provide okay, has almost seen the third generation totally ignorant of the necessity of those skills.
Apathy! Such amazing people as Jamie Oliver, the TV chef par excellence, cannot even get through to people. His efforts seem just a drop in the ocean. There is no collective will out there for change, and the Government just pays lip service to his programmes, but really can’t be bothered. It’s not making them revenue like alcohol, cigarettes and fast foods. “Just humour the dear boy” seems to be the patronizing attitude. Yet he’s so passionate about the subject. The feeling is, if Jamie can’t persuade people and governments, then how the hell can we?
With the knowledge that I’m going to offend people here, for which I am so pleased, I will tell you that the scientific evidence is overwhelming and there for all to peruse; it is the poorer socio-economic strata of society that is most at risk, and that they are the ones with the least intelligence to learn from the evidence placed before them.
Solutions: How can we shake a complacent, arrogant and self interested government into seeing the long term consequences of their ridiculous policies? We used to be able to do it at the ballot box but it appears now that any government is much more interested in making money for the already rich layers of society, and acting like Julius Caesar – total dictators!
Finances and Food.
Grand-Mothers Policies: Finances and Food.
……………………..a few suggestions for getting the next generation back on track.
- Assess just how many 13 to 16 year olds there are nationally. All should participate without exception, males and females.
- Set up ‘After school cookery classes’ organized nationally by people such as Jamie Oliver.
- Fund raise to companies like Tesco, Sainsbury and Waitrose to obtain free food. This is brilliant advertising for them and they can easily afford it from their huge profits – profits which have continued to rise even in this world-wide recession! TV - that is advertising time, posters, and flyers. Just think of the good will that’s being generated Mr Tesco, Mr Waitrose et al.
- Get Grandparents, retirees and those who love cooking to teach these classes. (Sadly, all will need to participate in the governments Health and Safety courses and obtain the required certificates, but hey, it’s got to be worth it!).
- This may have to start on a voluntary basis, but if there are as many concerned Grandparents out there as I think there are, this will be no hardship. We can all well afford to do the courses and give up a couple of hours each day for the kids can’t we?
- In these 2 hour sessions make sure that at least half an hour is devoted to the finances of eating. Emphasise just how much fast foods cost and what the alternatives cost.
- Each lesson should have a clearly written summary of the cost advantages and compare them with a similar fast food meals and/or buying prepared food.
- What’s wrong with preparing your own veggies for heaven sake? Just how lazy have we become?
- Make this compulsory. Free will and human rights?? Just who is thinking of the human rights of the young people we’re allowing to become obese and a sure target for early ill health, constant ridicule, psychological trauma, impaired mobility and heaven knows what else?
Enjoy your Cooking. Make it Fun!
One very important point here is the therapeutic value of cooking! I’m a classic example of someone who hates cooking but have had no choice because I’m the generation that really did NOT have any money or choice. We were not propped up by a welfare state that gave hand-outs for everything. We really did have to grovel to friends, neighbours and relatives to help us out with our children whilst we took on a job. And that job was so often the worst of the worst – Sausage filling in the Walls factory on the 7 to midnight shift; weeding on farms during the height of the summer months; potato picking-up in the freezing cold! You name it, I’ve done it. And there was no fast food to pop in the microwave when we got home to 3 or 4 hungry mouths, plus a husband. We had to do it all by hand. But it was a way of winding down at the end of the day.
Preparing vegetables or fruit at the table and chatting with the children doing their homework was an amazingly happy and fruitful time of the day. Because you were working, children often thought you weren’t concentrating and would come out with the most profound statements.
- The person that said "parents that allow their kids to become overweight should be prosecuted for child abuse" is not far wrong. But you can’t blame ignorance when the government has been so appallingly neglectful of the basic skills in education can you?
- No, you can't blame ignorance, but you CAN blame apathy!
Finally, HAVE THE COURAGE AND THE WILL TO CARRY IT THROUGH.
Don’t be your usual apathetic selves, these kids need help and you have the skills and the time to help.
DON’T JUST SIT THERE, DO IT NOW!
Food glorious food
Recipes and thoughts.
A FEW SIMPLE RECIPES THAT CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
- Grilled bacon and poached eggs on toast. With grilled tomatoes and mushroom what is simpler. And it does not have to be a breakfast dish. It’s a satisfying meal to come home to.
- Breakfasts should be fruit, fruit and more fruit. There’s no excuse these days for not buying mangoes, pineapple, kiwis, dragon fruits etc. Every part of the globe is represented in the fruit department of any big supermarket and they don’t cost as much as your microwavable fast food. You really don’t need cereals, they’re full of sugar. It’s a habit. Fruits have a slow release sugar that sustains the body for some 4 or 5 hours after consumption. Cereals give you an energy ‘high’ which lasts all of half an hour.
- Fruit is also a ‘brain food’ and a child going to school on a dish of fruit salad is going to learn more and retain more than a kid fed on sugary foods first thing. And by fruit salad, I do NOT mean the gunk that comes from a tin! I mean, try preparing it yourself! Just how lazy are you eh?? How strenuous can cutting up a few fruits be eh?
- The good old minced beef or pork is a wonderful standby meat, keep several packs in the freezer. Think of shepherds pie, chilli con carne, and lasagne. Easy dishes to prepare. Think of beef and kidney stews. Make a giant pan of this and half of it will freeze down for next week – a free cooking day, all you need to prepare is the potatoes!
- Chicken too, is a wonderfully easy meat to add to anything and is so tasty. Chicken chasseuse, mushroom and chicken pie, roast chicken, BBQ’d chicken – the list is endless.
- Always have a cupboard full of goodies like herbs and spices to make the meals much more interesting.
- Make large quantities of things like stews, casseroles etc and freeze some of it down for another day.
Cookery Books: So, go get out the cookery books you had for presents and never looked at. See how easy some of the recipes really are. You just need to adjust your day. All that time you spend searching the supermarket shelves for something different, try doing it yourself! It’s so much more fun than putting a junk packet in the microwave.
After all, its not the same as your Gran serves you up is it?
Think of it as a new and more fulfilling way of life.
- Think of it as a way of saving your children from dieing before you do – believe me, it’s going to happen.
- Think of it as a family hour, time to impart the wisdom you’re learning to your kids. A shared time. So precious.
- Get the children to search the recipe books for their favourite recipes and cook or make them together.
OKAY, so your kids won’t play ball. They won’t eat this ‘new’, ‘yukky’ food your cooking. You want to give up and tell us that you’ve tried but they don’t like it. What to do?
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES AND NO WAY MUST YOU GIVE UP!
Well, I worked as a nurse with children for many years and alongside us worked a lovely psychiatrist; the daughter of the very famous child psychiatrist Hans Eysenck. One very valuable lesson she taught me is that the kids are NOT going to die if they don’t eat for a couple of days.
Her prescription was;
- Explain to your child or children that you are changing their diet and this will be the order of the meals from now on. Tell them that there is no argument, no discussion and that you are worried enough about their eating habits to want to change them.
- Explain to the child that this is their meal, the only meal they will be offered until the next one in however many hours.
- Tell them that you will leave it there for 15 or 20 minutes and then if they don’t eat it, it will be taken away and disposed of.
- Do it. Make no fuss. Eat your own meal and act normal. Make no more comment on their meal, but tell them the time again and how long they have.
- After the set time remove the plate and any food and dispose of it.
- Make NO comment. Just do it.
- Set the dessert and follow the same regime.
Your child may go several meals and not eat. In fact, may go a couple of days. At this point you must show NO sign of emotion, but continue the regime.
Do NOT under any circumstances give them any snacks between meals or they will have won the battle and you are heading for fat kids.
Hard love: You've heard the expression. Believe me, this really is hard and I know because I’ve had to follow the regime with several children in my care over the years. One was a 15 year old weighing in at 3.5 stone! I cried (out of her sight I might add). It took over a week for her to start eating, but after that, wow! She never looked back and is a lovely young woman of 28 now! Her singular source of sustenance had been biscuits, which she could manipulate out of any of the staff, but were of no nutritional value what so ever. Hence she really wasn’t interested in normal meals until we tried this. It worked!
It will work for you. Be brave. Be strong for their sakes.
And good luck.
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Cook and have fun, save money and be healthy.
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