Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Parent Talk

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Parent Talk

Article excerpt

Byline: By Shona Russell

Bringing up babies and children isn't always an easy job. Shona Russell aims to help you with practical guidance and information, based on her experience as a counsellor, a child-care writer and mother-of-three. If you've got an issue you think she can deal with, write to her here at the Chronicle. She'll do her best to share some down-to-earth advice.

Q What is the connection between children's behaviour and the food they eat? I try to make sure my children eat healthy food, but in the end, they reject the good stuff and insist on frozen pizzas, burgers and so on. I pack a lunch for them every day, but unless I put in the rubbish they will accept, the lunch box comes back with the food in it untouched.

My children are boys aged six and eight, and they are lively and argumentative. They fight with each other all the time, and I can't leave them alone in a room in front of the TV as they can't be trusted not to fall out about the choice of programme. It's been suggested that if I changed their diets they might be easier to manage and calmer.

I want to ensure they have a good diet, but I get tired of offering something only for them to screw up their faces in disgust and then demand something else.

A It's hard to know what affects children's behaviour as there is so little good research on the links between a bad diet and difficult behaviour. There are so many variables that isolating one particular factor is probably beyond most research.

However, no-one would argue that health is enhanced when children have a wide range of nutritious foods. High-fat, high-sugar, and high-salt food eaten over a long period of time and to the exclusion of other foods certainly do contribute to obesity, poor bowel health and other types of ill health, so you would be doing your sons a favour if you tackled their limited range now. …

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