Planning daily meals is a real challenge for 46-year-old mother of two Annamarie *Bailey. Her family has complex dietary requirements.
Her husband needs to watch his cholesterol and her 8-year-old son has a severe allergy to nuts and eggs that can lead to a potentially deadly anaphylactic reaction.
“It’s important to me to stay healthy and to meet the needs of my family,” says Annamarie. “Once you hit 40 you start to hear things happening to your peers out of the blue and you become more aware of your health because you want to enjoy life with your kids for as long as possible.”
So when she heard about a complimentary one-on-one healthy eating consultation at her local Bupa retail store with one of its Accredited Practising Dietitians, she thought why not?
“There’s always room for improvements when it comes to providing for a family and preparing nutritious meals,” she says.
Annamarie says the session was full of new information, but more than anything it inspired her to make some lasting changes.
One of the biggest changes was switching the family from full fat dairy products to low fat varieties, keeping an eye out to keep salt and sugar levels low as well.
“Definitely taste was the number one factor keeping me hooked on full cream milk, but you adjust and now I don’t miss the flavour,” she says. “We’re eating low-fat yoghurts and cheeses and I’m sure it’s making a difference – it all adds up.”
Annamarie has also started to opt for low GI foods for the family.
“Low GI foods keep you fuller for longer and satisfied for longer so it means you’re more likely to avoid snacking on things that might not be very good for you,” she says.
“It changed my habits when it came to the sort of rice I bought for the family and it gave me the confidence to make those decisions.”
The session also helped Annamarie to stop snacking on energy dense foods in the afternoon at work.
“Now I’m taking more appropriate healthy snacks to work so I’m less likely to eat the sugary high fat foods that are around in the office,” she says. “It makes me feel better about myself to know that I have a choice and I can make better choices.”
“It’s definitely changed some of the unhealthy habits that I’ve had that I wasn’t putting any thought into and I think it will have an impact on my body in the long run.”
*Bailey is a pseudonym. Annamarie asked we didn’t use her surname for privacy reasons.