Dr Happy Feeding The Family Interview

Dr Happy Feeding The Family Interview

Dr Happy Feeding The Family Interview

Tip Top has surveyed over 1,000 Australian parents and children to look at the 'state of the nation' when it comes to feeding the family.

The survey found that 2 in 5 (41%) parents encourage their child to follow the same diet they do. Which may be the reason why 72% of school children have admitted to doing something with their school lunches other than eating the whole lot.

Tip Top has commissioned Dr Happy (Dr Timothy Sharp), Adjunct Professor in Positive Psychology, to provide advice on how parents can encourage a positive relationship with food and healthy eating. See below for his tips and advice:

Prioritise nutrition over behaviours. Don't worry so much about old fashioned manners when it comes to your child's eating

Focus more on being playful and creative with food. If you make something fun, kids will be more likely to want to be part of it. For example make fun shapes. There is nothing tastier than eating a dinosaur shaped sandwich

Open up the lines of communication. Ask your children what they like and don't like and ask why?
Involve your children in the purchasing and preparation of food. This will significantly boost the chances of them enjoying the (healthy and nutritious) food
Let your child take -ownership'. Allow your children to make some choices about what goes in their lunchbox


Chicken, Lettuce and Home-Made Mayonnaise Sandwich

Ingredients
2 x slices of Tip Top® The One®
1 teaspoon home-made mayonnaise^
100g grilled chicken breast*
1 cup washed, torn lettuce leaves

^Home Made Mayonnaise (Makes 1 cup)
1x free range egg yolk
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup (250mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
¼ lemon, juiced

^Grilled Chicken
1 chicken breast, sliced thinly into fillets
1 lemon, juiced
½ teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
To make mayonnaise:
Whisk egg yolk in a bowl.
Add mustard and whisk together.
Gradually add ½ cup oil, and whisk continuously for 3-5 minutes.
Whisk in most of the vinegar (about ¾ of it) until mixture is slightly paler in colour
Gradually add in remaining oil, whisking continuously.
Squeeze in lemon and remaining vinegar.
Store in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to one week.

To make the sandwich:
Heat 1 teaspoon oil on a medium heat non-stick pan
Add chicken, garlic and lemon juice to the pan and cook until chicken is browned and cooked through.
3. Once chicken has cooled, slice into smaller pieces, keep approx. 100g for your sandwich, and place the rest in a container and store in fridge for up to 3 days.
Assemble the sandwich using two slices of Tip Top® The One®, home-made mayonnaise and lettuce.

TIP: If packing this for a school sandwich, put the mayonnaise between the chicken and lettuce leaves to keep the sandwich from getting soggy!

NUTRITION FACT: Kids need anywhere between 2 ½ to 5 ½ serves of veggies per day depending on their sex and age*. 1 cup of raw salad vegetables equates to one serve, so serve with some extra carrot or cucumber sliced into batons to bump up their veggie intake at lunchtime.


Chicken, Tomato and Baby Spinach Sandwich

Ingredients
2 slices Tip Top® The One®
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 tomato, sliced
100g grilled chicken breast
1 teaspoon home-made mayonnaise^

^Home Made Mayonnaise (Makes 1 cup)
1x free range egg yolk
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup (250mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
¼ lemon, juiced

Directions:
To make mayonnaise:
Whisk egg yolk in a bowl.
Add mustard and whisk together.
Gradually add ½ cup oil, and whisk continuously for 3-5 minutes.
Whisk in most of the vinegar (about ¾ of it) until mixture is slightly paler in colour
Gradually add in remaining oil, whisking continuously.
Squeeze in lemon and remaining vinegar.
Store in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to one week.

To make the sandwich:
Simply assemble the sandwich using Tip Top® The One®, baby spinach, tomato, chicken and home-made mayonnaise.
Feel free to add in any colourful vegetables like beetroot, capsicum or cucumber.

Tip: If your kids won't eat too many vegies in a sandwich, giving them vegie sticks on the side is a good way to get them to nibble them separately. Try giving them some low fat ricotta, hummus or tzatziki to dip their veggie sticks in.

NUTRITION FACT: This sandwich is high in fibre and a source of protein.


Interview with Dr Happy, Adjunct Professor in Positive Psychology; Dr Timothy Sharp

Question: What surprised you about the study's findings?

Dr Timothy Sharp: To be honest, not that much. As a parent, I'm familiar with these (and similar issues). But I was a bit surprised to read that 72% of school children have admitted to doing something other than eating their lunches including throwing it in the trash or leaving it to mould!


Question: How can parents encourage a positive relationship with food and healthy eating?

Dr Timothy Sharp: By making healthy foods and healthy eating fun! Involve children in shopping for and in the preparation of meals, especially lunch. If they're a part of the buying and making they'll be more likely to feel 'ownership" of their lunch and, therefore, to ultimately eat it.


Question: What is a positive relationship with food?

Dr Timothy Sharp: It's simply about enjoying food for all it is (or could be) – tasty, nutritious and necessary for living a great life full of energy. Too often, however, food is seen as something that's messy or worse, something that just makes you 'fat". Obviously we want to avoid this at all costs.


Question: How can we encourage children to participate in cooking and preparing food?

Dr Timothy Sharp: As hinted at above, by making it fun. Have music playing; play games with food; make shapes with meals (such as faces or rocket ships); and don't worry so much about making mess. I know that's easier said than done sometimes but mess can always be cleaned up!


Question: What advantages will having children participate in cooking have on their nutrition?

Dr Timothy Sharp: Massive advantages. Research clearly shows that meals prepared at home are much healthier than meals purchased out of home (e.g. Take away) as the latter tends to be higher in salts and (bad) fats and sugars and additives. Further, they'll be learning an important life skill that will be useful as they gain more independence and eventually, leave home.


Question: Do children understand nutrition and its importance?

Dr Timothy Sharp: Well, that depends on their age; but as parents we should certainly be trying to educate them about nutrition and its importance as this is (obviously) crucial for health and wellbeing and even happiness.


Question: How can parents successfully teach the importance of healthy eating?

Dr Timothy Sharp: By doing all the things I've noted above AND notably, by being good, positive role models. That is, if children see their parents shopping for and preparing and eating healthy and nutritious foods then they'll be significantly more likely to follow suit.


Question: What is your favourite sandwich filling?

Dr Timothy Sharp: That's a tough one because I like so many different types of foods! But probably chopped, poached chicken with mayonnaise, avocado and lettuce (for a bit of crunch).


Question: What did the survey find a parent's favourite sandwich filling was?

Dr Timothy Sharp: Ham, cheese and salad.


Question: And, what was a children's favourite sandwich filling?

Dr Timothy Sharp: Cheese, chicken and ham.


Question: How important is a packed lunch, for Australian school students?

Dr Timothy Sharp: Very important because along the lines of the point I made a bit earlier, a packed lunch is more likely to be healthier and more nutritious – especially compared to what they might purchase at a school canteen. Although the latter have improved a lot in recent years, packed lunches from home are more likely to be good for them.


Delux Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients
2x slices Tip Top® The One®
1 handful of lettuce
1 tomato, sliced
1 carrot, grated
1 slice of cheddar cheese
2 slices of finely shaved ham, off the bone

Avocado Mix (Serves 4)
1 avocado
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:
Scrape avocado out of skin into a bowl. Mash avocado into a paste and add lemon juice.
Place Tip Top® The One® slice on a board and spread avocado mix over the slice of bread.
Assemble the sandwich with a handful of lettuce, slices of tomato, carrot, cheese and ham.

TIP: If your avocado is too hard, you can always speed up the ripening process by placing it in a brown paper bag with either a banana or an apple. This can take 2-3 days.

NUTRITION TIP: Avocados are nutrient-dense and particularly high in healthy monounsaturated fats. They offer a great alternative to butter as a spread on sandwiches.


Interview by Brooke Hunter




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