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The Meaning of "Healthy"
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The Meaning of "Healthy"

KIRSTY GRAY 27.04.2017 8 MINS

I have to admit it…I am a bit confused as a consumer about the word “healthy”, so it must be even worse for parents who have to make food decisions for their child every day. 

Should we be eating dairy? Are white carbohydrates really bad for you? Should we go gluten free? What can I give to my child at lunch with no refined sugar? Is the “low fat” option really better or does it have added chemicals in it? 

With the rising trend for a better lifestyle, we are constantly asking “So is it actually healthy?”

And it’s not a simple question. 

There’s been an explosion of wellness bloggers and vloggers recently who seem to be everywhere. Healthy-eating blogs, Instagram accounts and books. There’s so many different opinions and perceptions so it’s difficult for Parents to decipher whats really the best choice. 

The word “Healthy” is stated in the dictionary as…

Healthy – “In a good physical or mental condition; in good health.”

So that didn’t really help in getting a conclusion….

But there’s something quietly powerful about the word “Healthy”. 

Brands can leverage this word across their packaging and communications but does that actually mean it’s “Healthy” for your family? 

“No” and “free-from” crop up a lot when we look at “healthy” products - no added sugar, no added preservatives, no gluten, free from nuts, 100% natural ingredients, free from dairy, no sweeteners. If we constantly see ‘no gluten’, then most people think gluten is bad for everyone.

Every parent wants to give their child the best start in life so are we as consumers mislead into thinking a product “healthy” when it actually isn’t. 

Take for example: Cereal Biscuits, are they really a healthy start to the day when they contain refined sugar? Raw Bars made from nuts can be really high in calories. Some yoghurts may be labeled “lighter fat” but have tons of added sugar, making it harder for us to really know what’s inside the food we’re buying. 

McDonalds recently announced a “delivery service”, which I am sure most people will agree will not help with the child obesity concern.

Recent statistics from the NHS stated that there are a growing number of children who are classed as “obese”. Health and Social Care Information Centre reports that nearly a third of children aged 2 to 15 years are overweight or obese. 

So what is the right thing to do when it comes to our food and us?

Maybe the best advice out there is eat in “moderation” even if it is left to us to define what “good moderation” actually means in terms of portion sizes and diet for us as individuals which is no easy task.  

If it’s hard enough for us to be aware of what we’re putting in our trolleys and in our bodies, parents have the tougher job by needing to think about their own nutrition but importantly, their children’s nutrition and health.  

As we shop and sift through the shelves for something quick for dinner tonight or snacks for our child’s lunchbox tomorrow, the question still remains, “But is this actually healthy?”  

The best answer to this question is yesIF the ingredients are raw, not processed and in moderation.

So really, how easy is it for us all to find this? 

Not so easy at all.

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