PARENTS

Are Some Toddlers Eating Too Much Fruit And Veg?

27/12/2010 18:18 | Updated 22 May 2015

A new study has found that some nurseries are giving kids too much "healthy" fruit and veg and not enough carbs to keep them going.

Ever get the feeling you can't win?

The survey, carried out by Lacors, the local government regulatory body, looked at children in nursery schools in 29 council areas in England.

They discovered that some kids were being given too much food which was too salty, while others were not getting enough sustenance.

Apparently some people take the "healthy eating" message too far and end up depriving children of the calories they actually need.

Purnima Tanuku, the chief executive of the National Day Nurseries Association, tells the BBC: "Parents are aware of the importance of ensuring their child eats healthily to avoid obesity and health problems in later life, but this can sometimes lead to parents making requests that their child follows a strict diet, such as skimmed milk and low-fat foods.

"Children under five have specific needs, and should not have low-fat diets as their growing bodies need fat and carbohydrates."

Children burn fat much faster than adults and they're growing very quickly so they need a lot more high-energy foods than we do.

Jessica Williams, a paediatric dietician, tells the BBC that parents shouldn't avoid giving their kids puddings such as sponge and custard, and red meat is also good for them.

There are some other more surprising messages - apparently white bread isn't necessarily bad for children as too much wholegrain food can fill them up without giving them enough calories.

Williams tells the BBC: "While the five-a-day message must certainly still be there, a child's portion does need to be smaller so they have room for the other, more substantial items on their plates. They simply won't get the calories they need from fruit and vegetables, even in large quantities."

Complicated, isn't it? Especially when you're struggling to get your toddler to eat anything other than bananas and crumpets...

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