Clinical dietitian Kate Save has revealed even she isn’t immune to other parents criticising her for how she packs her children’s lunchboxes.
Given the Victorian-based professional is across all facets of nutrition and health, the unwarranted comments have been a shock, especially as she’s managing two kids who are notoriously fussy eaters.
While the remarks are seemingly not ill-intentioned, a study by Capliano Honey has revealed that almost one in five parents have been made to feel guilty about the food they give their child.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Kate, who also heads up Be Fit Foods, said there had been times when she has earned the ire of other parents at the school gate for the foods she’d packed for daughter’s lunch.
So can you spot what’s wrong with it?
Can you spot what’s wrong with this lunchbox?
Clinical dietitian Kate Save said there had been times when she earned the ire of other parents at the school gate for the foods she’d packed for daughter’s lunch
The mum-of-two, Chloe, 5, and Mia, 3, explained her oldest child attends an early learning centre and because of another child’s allergy to nuts, all nut spreads are forbidden.
The difficulty, Kate said, is that her daughter, a fussy eater, loves peanut butter.
There are occasions when the family have left over chicken which makes it into lunches, but because Chloe doesn’t like Vegemite or jam, sometimes sandwiches can be a plainer affair – butter or mayonnaise.
This, she explained, is what parents have taken issue with.
Kate (pictured centre) with her two daughters Mia, 3, (pictured left) and Chloe, 5, (pictured right)
‘Once people know you’re a dietitian people will ask “what does your kid have for lunch?’ She said.
‘I tell them I give them what they’ll eat.
‘To them it might have looked as if I wasn’t making an effort as a parent.’
The nutritional expert has also come under fire for feeding her children breakfast cereals deemed unhealthy
While lunch usually comes with a piece of fruit or strawberries, and a small tub of Greek yoghurt, there are days when Kate will add a small can of baked beans.
‘That’s when the questions about how high they [baked beans] are in sugar start,’ she said.
‘I tell people they’re a legume, and super high in fibre and super high in vitamins.’
As a dietitian Kate said she’s happy that her children are eating vegetables at lunchtime – even if they do some with a small amount of sugar.
The nutritional expert has also come under fire for feeding her children breakfast cereals deemed unhealthy by those who may be operating under conflicting information.
Kate said there’s been a rise in what she terms ‘nutritional anxiety’ – people who feel confused by the glut of dietary information
‘One of my daughter’s likes Cheerios which she has with Greek yoghurt,’ she admitted.
‘Parents have said ‘Are Cheerios ok? I thought they were full of sugar?’
‘They’re a breakfast cereal and they have a little bit of added sugar – a maximum of one teaspoon of sugar per serve which is less than what you’d normally add to cereal.
‘I find that with kids, it’s a way to get extra vitamins in plus dietary fibre, plus when its served with Greek yoghurt they are getting calcium and protein and overall it’s actually a low GI meal,’ she explained.
‘You get judged by parents who don’t see that, they just see the Cheerios and they think they’re similar to Fruit Loops or Nutrigrain.’
Kate believes people are generally confused about what a healthy diet looks like and feel more ‘nutritional anxiety’ because there’s such a glut of dietary information.
The nutritional expert said her family eat a range of foods, including those which come pre-packaged, but to offset this they consider what they are pairing those foods with
Citing figures from Capilano’s research, she revealed more than one in 10 admitted they are baffled by conflicting recommendations around what they should and shouldn’t be feeding their kids.
‘People are always asking me what they should be eating and they honestly seem confused,’ she said.
‘The truthful answer is that everybody knows what good food looks like.
‘It’s only once you start worrying about the labels on processed food that you’re probably choosing the wrong foods.’
Kate said her family eat a range of foods, including those which come pre-packaged, but to offset this they consider what they are pairing those foods with.
To parents who ‘lunchbox shame’, Kate urges practicing a little restraint
‘It’s not so much that every single meal needs to balance, it’s just at the end of week that they’ve had that nutritional variety.
‘Every meal doesn’t need to look perfect,’ she continued.
To the ‘lunchbox shamers’ Kate urges practicing a little restraint, especially as parents might not have the full picture in terms of what a child might be eating over the course of a day.
‘If a child doesn’t eat and they’re a fussy eater, then you just need to make sure they’re getting something because their energy becomes the most important thing.
‘At the end of the day it’s not about individual meals or individual foods but it’s about balance,’ she concluded.