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THE EXPERT: Don't call them treats!

"DON'T call them treats."

That's the message from author and dietician with foodtalk.com.au Trudy Williams who says she is fed up with parents labelling unhealthy foods as "something good".

"The biggest issues today, is still getting kids to eat their fruit and vegetables but also parents displacing important foods with treats - and 'treat' food I hate," she said.

Ms Williams said by positioning unhealthy food as a reward, children were likely to want it more and view those foods in a positive light.

"It's about setting up better behaviours for later in life," she said.

"We as parents are the providers of food for our children - we can say no to the drive thru, or no to certain foods when we shop.

"If we want kids not to eat it, it's up to us not to provide it."

The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed in 2011-12, 25.3% of children aged 5-17 years were overweight or obese with girls taking the cake with 27.1% and boys with 23.6%.

Clearly we're not getting the message with the same statistics in 2007-08.

Dietician says parents need to stop putting unhealthy food on the 'treats' pedestal.
Dietician says parents need to stop putting unhealthy food on the 'treats' pedestal. AAP

In Queensland today, 174,500 children are overweight and 72,900 are obese. That makes up a quarter of the child population in the state.

Speaking to Ms Williams' tune, only 4.3% of Queensland children met recommended serves of fruit and vegetables in 2011-12.

"There are multiple issues when kids lack essential nutrients because without vitamins and proteins children can't function at their best at school, at sport, and they are terrible for parents to deal with," Ms Williams said.

"Then come the dental issues with the sugar-laden food and drinks."

She said studies proved an overweight child was likely to develop into an overweight adult so it was up to parents to set up good habits from the start. 

Miss last week's episode on smacking? WATCH IT HERE

Watch episode one on technology and kids HERE

Topics:  food health heymumma heymummahealth nutrition parenting



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