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What nutrition and training advice would you offer to children?

Lesley Maxwell

Children always want to be 'hands on' in the kitchen when making something tasty to eat, and it's just as easy to show them how to cook something that is healthy.

I really enjoy cooking with children and seeing the smile on their faces as they see how easy it is to create simple, delicious meals. French toast with avocado and tomato, whole-egg pancakes with fresh berries or homemade pizza with healthy toppings are a few favourites.

Children are surprisingly interested in their own bodies and appearance. I've found that boys are encouraged to eat healthy knowing they will grow strong, whereas girls prefer to be told their hair will be shiny or their skin will glow. I know this sounds corny but it works.

I used to take my children food shopping and they were never allowed to purchase anything that had 'numbers' (additives and preservatives), so they have been made aware of healthy eating from a young age.

As parents, we are responsible for what our children eat. It's easy to disguise vegetables such as grated zucchini and carrot in homemade hamburgers or bolognaise sauce. Quick and easy smoothies can be made with bananas and lecithin, and I have been known to throw in a raw egg yolk or two!

As far as exercise goes, I always encourage children to be active by finding a sport they love - the important thing is to get them moving! You will be surprised what a difference you can make to your children for the future of their health in their adult lives. The habits they learn in childhood will stay with them for life.

Skye Cushway

It is so important for children to learn and love fresh food from a young age. We need to make food look appealing and colourful to them. Children shouldn't be eating fast food every day - now and then, sure - but not every day. As adults, we need to set an example and eat wholefoods in front of children so they think it is normal to eat fresh, clean foods! You can be creative and hide vegetables in stir-fry casseroles, omelettes or muffins. Mashed up vegetables with a little cheese is also very appealing to kids. Buying fresh fruit is so much cheaper and more nutritious than buying 'fruit bars' that are processed and full of added sugar.

Getting kids involved in sports from a young age can build some great foundations and lessons for years to come. We need to teach our children that exercise and healthy food is a huge part of life; a necessity to keep our bodies and mind strong. If you don't have good health, life can be awful, so we need to teach them early. Make it fun for them.

Penny Lomas

This is a tricky one as there is a fine line between allowing kids to have freedom with nutrition and lifestyle, and trusting them to make the right choices. I am not a mum yet, but I would advise to start teaching kids when they are young about the difference between packaged foods and real foods. This way they learn to steer away from lollies and processed food - and to favour meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds. It's important that children hit their macronutrients, especially if they are very active and still growing. When it comes to training, they can start body and light weight training from early teens - this should be supervised. I often have parents bring their teenagers in for a session with me so they can learn technique for basic exercises to avoid injury. Not only is appropriate weight training great for developing kids' bone density and muscle, but it encourages good posture as they grow and inspires confidence and good self-esteem. I find today that kids are becoming more entertained by TV and computer games, so I would advise getting children involved in outdoor sports and after school clubs to teach them that exercise is a healthy part of everyday life.

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