Over 50% of Australian mums are struggling to provide nutritionally balanced meals to their families, according to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).
Major food company Nestlé recently ran a study involving 16,579 Australian women which showed that 53% found mealtimes challenging, and that knowing what to feed their kids for a healthy, balanced meal was difficult.
While these statistics are alarming, they are not surprising considering childhood obesity in Australia has hit an all time high. Nonetheless, the results of the study also reveal that 43% of mums say they are trying really hard to get the balance right regardless of how tough it is.
Of the women studied, 6.5% said their children never eat the ‘healthy stuff’ prepared for them and 3% said they are just downright confused by what actually is healthy. Also, 36% of mums are highly concerned their children are not getting enough exercise for maximum health and vitality.
Following the results of this study, Nestlé and the AIS recently teamed up to create a practical cookbook guide that teaches families how to whip up nutritional meals. Survival for the Active Family has been written by leading Australian dietitians and athletes to give Australian parents confidence with nutrition, health and wellness. .
While 11% of mums feel guilty about cutting corners when it comes to meal preparation, Dr Penny Small, a Senior Nutritionist at Nestlé says that being healthy doesn’t have to meet long preparation times or opting for foods that prove inconvenient.
“Mums shouldn’t feel guilty about not knowing what to feed their families or how to keep them fit and active,” says Small, “Survival for the Active Family contains over 100 meal ideas from quick and easy breakfast recipes to sit down family dinners. All recipes are designed to provide maximum nutrition with minimum time and effort.”
When former Olympic swimmer and mum of two, Petria Thomas, first started training at the AIS, she says she was a fussy eater.
“I was encouraged to try many new foods and it paid off. I now spend my days giving the same nutritional messages to my children, especially my son Aiden. From my experience, even the most stubborn person can learn to love lots of different foods.”
While Thomas admits it can be a constant struggle to feel like a ‘good mum’ when it comes to feeding your children, leading by example is definitely the best method to teach children how to eat well, and stay active.
More than just a cookbook, Survival for the Active Family combines the best recipes and tips from Nestlé and AIS nutritional experts and leading AIS athletes, to create easy, healthy meals for the whole family. It also has tips on incorporating activity into family life for that extra motivation to keep everyone healthy.
Nestlé has an ongoing commitment to providing Australians with good food for good living every day and has been a proud partner of the AIS for over 10 years. Through online initiatives like recipes.com.au, Nestlé works to trouble-shoot problems that parents have in providing nutritious and delicious meals for their families. The website has over 500 delicious recipes including a selection of recipes to meet varying dietary needs, with easy to read nutrition tables and tips plus daily and weekly menu planners, measurement converters, personalised online cookbook, A-Z cooking glossary and more.
The AIS Sports Nutrition website has recipes and information for athletes and their families who want to perform at their best. Fact sheets, recipes, FAQs, and information on a variety of publications can be found at ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition.
Survival for the Active Family is available in all major bookstores from 10 March 2010, A$29.95RRP. It is also available from all major online retailers and from www.ausport.gov.au/survival.