The importance of explaining kJ to kids

The unfortunate truth is that among Australian children, the rate of being overweight or obese has risen and is now too high. That’s why it’s vitally important that as a parent or caregiver, you encourage healthy approaches to the food they eat and the activity they do.

It can be as simple as explaining that it’s important to the eat healthy foods in moderation, not to eat foods that are high in sugars or fats such as chocolates, sweets, crisps and fried food and to balance their kJ intake with regular activity.

Your kids don’t have to be experts on health and nutrition. Simple messages give them a basic understanding of the healthy approach, and help make it seem the norm.

Here are some useful food tips:

  • Encourage children to eat a healthy breakfast as a good way to start the day.
  • Avoid using food as either a reward, or withholding as a punishment.
  • Plan to eat home-cooked meals together as a family as often as possible.
  • Plan for healthy snacks and provide healthy options such as fresh fruit and vegetables, instead of snacks that are high in fat, sugars, and low in essential nutrients.
  • Encourage children to drink water and to limit intake of sugary beverages like soft drinks.
  • Discourage eating meals or snacks while watching TV.
  • Reduced the intake of energy dense, nutrient poor foods
  • Healthy kids NSW Government and Heart Foundation
  • Kids Healthy Food and Activity Guide NSW Health
  • Children and body weight (Heart Foundation)