Wednesday 23 January 2019

Real Health Podcast: How to have your family eating healthier with Operation Transformation dietitian Aoife Hearne

Aoife Hearne and Karl Henry
Aoife Hearne and Karl Henry
Karl Henry with Operation Transformation dietitian Aoife Hearne
Karl Henry

Karl Henry

Do you lead by example when it comes to healthy eating with your kids? Or do you find it a constant power struggle trying to get your kids to eat their fruit and veg?

Dietitian, Aoife Hearne, also known for being on Operation Transformation, joins me on this week's show to solve your problems when it comes to family eating.

She tackles the thorny issue of treats, overweight children, technology-free meal-times, fussy eaters, and how to introduce new foods to kids' plates.

"The what, when and where of eating is up to you, the parent," she explains.  "The child's role is to eat or not.  Kids won’t let themselves go hungry, it’s about playing the long game and holding firm with them."

"With kids and a busy job there has to be a plan in place. Parents have to lead by example.  Kids will follow what they see you do - don't forget, only 7pc of what you say is taken in.  It’s about creating a healthy relationship with food."

As for treats?  Aoife says we need to think in terms of non-food rewards so that food isn’t used as a soothing means for kids.  Food can be a reward sometimes but not all the time.  Have a flexible treats policy, be it a treat night, but be consistent about it.

“The key thing is that no food are off-limits,” she tells me.  “Research shows that when kids have unlimited access to sweets/treats they will eat less of them.” 

And did you know it can take up to 20 times for kids to accept and up to 30 times to like new food? 

Keep sending your questions in to me via email realhealth@independent.ie or contact Karl on Twitter @karlhenrypt.

The Real Health podcast with Karl Henry in association with Laya Healthcare.

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