cooking with kids, education

Change 4 Life imageWe received a letter from school this week, as have many other parents – it turns out that my 11yo son is underweight – his body mass index (BMI) is in the 1st centile, which is ‘underweight’ and not a ‘healthy weight’. But I thought the measurement for change 4 life was ‘Healthy Eating’?

For us though, I’m pretty sure it’s a family thing, we are all four of us slim, and yet we eat LOTS of food (healthy, AND cakes) – The boys just move a lot… every week between them they go to a running club – twice a week; football twice a week, netball, and tennis – that’s busy, oh and one of them does a martial arts class too… They move A LOT.

I understand that The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) is an important element of the Government’s work programme on child obesity, however, in our case I don’t want him to be worrying that he’s too thin, but he is worrying… comparing himself in height to his younger brother’s tall, big footed friends, pointing out his skinny ankles, and his skinny ribs – and most importantly, I don’t want him to be worrying that he’s doing too much exercise.

I think we’ve managed to reassure him that he’s fine as he is, (although I have been trying to get two breakfasts into him before school!) and we have continued with our five-a-day chart on the kitchen wall, (and that’s helped me – as I’m making fruit and muesli smoothies for my breakfast every day, come on, even my wedding cake was fruit-based!)

And we are also operating a ‘good behaviour’ reward chart at the moment – the prize being a Manchester United top (I know, he’s really no son of mine…), and I’ve let him pick some new running trainers online, therefore acknowledging that sport and exercise is a GOOD thing. (and his feet ARE growing!)

I’ve been reading other blog posts this week relating to this, I think the focus needs to be on healthy eating, not that the child is too fat or too thin, this is where the insecurities start – and I think that the change for life programme does essentially focus on this, with some great ideas for school packed lunches for example.

However, seeing in black and white that your child is falling into the ‘underweight’ or ‘very overweight’ category does sow a seed of doubt and make you think…

For links to healthy meals we have made together, try our baked salmon with pak choi recipe or the salmon and ginger – both really easy and healthy.

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