Curb the sweet snacks

nur gparents lg

Grandparents today are generally better informed in areas such as nutrition and lifestyle changes.

So it is not surprising to see Grandparents barracking at their grandson's footy match or taking the granddaughter to her weekly swimming classes and buying a Frisbee instead of a bag of lollies for that special treat.

But what can you do if you feel they are letting a few too many not-so-desirable foods slip in?

Everything old is new again

Old habits die hard and as there have been huge advancements in general wellbeing and nutrition science, you are bound to find some conflicting areas of advice when your parents, grandparent your children.

Take the "honey on the dummy" habit. This was used as a method of settling and getting babies to sleep. And surprise, surprise babies love the taste of something sweet. We now know that sucking on a honey-dipped dummy is not good for developing teeth and increases the risk of tooth decay.

Here are some tips if you need to cross the great divide of grand parenting:

  • Encourage the grandparents to teach the grandchild a physical activity that they have expertise in such as playing golf, fishing, playing tennis or flying a kite.
  • Welcome the opportunity for grandparents to play board games and card games with children as an alternative to video games and TV that they may have been used to, to encourage greater social interaction.
  • Ensure that the fridge and pantry at the grandparent's has some nutritious snack options for children to enjoy like tubs of Jalna Yoghurt, fresh fruit and nuts.
  • Keep the lines of communication open and be prepared to be 'up front' if you are not happy with how the grandparents might be dealing with sensitive issues such as body image or menu planning.
  • Talk to your children about how to deal diplomatically with grandparent's cooking - especially if they always serve Brussels sprouts!

By Karen Inge – Accredited Practising Dietitian