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Smart food swaps for kids
Childhood obesity is on the rise in Australia and establishing smart eating habits can make a lifetime of difference. In the October 2003 edition of Good Medicine dietitian Jill MacGregor looks at the habits you should instil, and smart alternatives for fatty foods.
Iced water instead of fruit juice
Ice-cream instead of lollies
Custard instead of cake
Cheese and fruit instead of biscuits
Milk with Milo instead of flavoured milk
Shish Kebabs instead of sausage rolls
Hamburgers instead of chicken nuggets
Dips and vegetables instead of corn chips
Scrambled eggs for cereal
Drumsticks instead of sandwiches
Nachos instead of pizza
Baked beans instead of two-minute noodles
Popcorn instead of potato chips
Muesli bars instead of chocolate bars
Jellied fruit instead of apple pie
Hot dogs instead of meat pies
"Most children don’t become nutritionally independent until the ages of 13 to 15," notes MacGregor.
"Until that time they'll usually follow your lead, allowing you to set a healthy example."
The report details the healthy habits you can establish, such as eating three evenly sized meals a day; drinking plain water when thirsty; enjoying takeaway just once a week; and, making mealtimes pleasurable.
There is also a list of 'kid friendly' food swaps, for the occasions when your child asks for foods you don't approve of.
Smart diet swaps for kids include:
The report details why each of these 'swaps' has more nutritional value than its alternative.
"Being your family's nutrition provider is an extremely big responsibility," adds MacGregor. "So knowledge of good nutrition can be very empowering."