I regularly run workshops for corporates on the subject of nutrition. The way these days go really does depend on the audience. Some audiences can be very welcoming and yet others can be quite, let’s say, nervous about what I might do or say to them. I feel this nervousness comes from a fear of being judged. The way it manifests itself is to talk about nutrition and healthy eating like it’s something that other people do and not something they need to be thinking about. Yet, clear as day, standing in front of me I can see the very need for healthy eating. The reality is that whilst not all may welcome me turning up to their work environment and relaying the best advice I can give, some of these workers are the walking unwell and they do need my help. Some are vastly overweight, others admit to a diagnosis of diabetes type 2, whilst some admit they have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, yet most seem to offer little in the way of strategies to overcome these illnesses. In fact many of the most poorly will guffaw at the mention of healthier foods or laugh at the possibility of eating a piece of fruit. It makes me wonder, where does this attitude stem from? Is this what our children learn from the environment they grow up in? Do the sport star-endorsed adverts for junk food make out junk food is cool and healthy food is not? Is it not cool to be interested in how the food and drink choices you make affect your overall health and wellbeing?
If this is the case then perhaps starting with children is the place before it’s too late. Some might think this is a losing battle but I believe there’s a real drive amongst this community to try and help people to become ambassadors in their own communities and to spread the word ‘healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard and it can be cool’. We all seem to be trying to find ways of improving the knowledge that our own children have around better food choices and making better choices available to them. The world around us might not be doing this plight or us any favours in this respect but if there’s enough of a drive and ambition to make a difference it can be made. Now, I know there are some terrible things going on in the world right now and whilst we can offer some financial and physical aid to these causes we might also be thinking about the longer term picture a little closer to home too.
So I urge all of us to make healthy eating just a normal part of everyday life. Having healthier options available at home, making wiser choices but with your children on board and informed is perhaps one of the ways in which they can be empowered to become the kinds of adults who see better food choices as better life choices and not something too uncool for them to partake in.