So what are you doing to fight obesity in children?

COMMENT: Going above and beyond is all in a day’s work at QA

Have your say

Did you know that it’s International Women’s Day this Saturday?

This isn’t one of those pick a day, buy a card and celebrate events – it has been around for 104 years .

Annually on this day, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements.

A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the globe, ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatrical performances, fashion parades and more.

The theme this year is inspiring change and for the month of March I am going to be talking about inspirational women in sport and health as well as looking at how you can impact on the next generation.

As we hear almost daily that obesity is on the increase and diseases related to obesity are also worryingly high, isn’t it time we looked at why the younger generations eat the way they do and ask ourselves what we can do to help the next generation to be more healthy?

In most families across the world it is the mother or women that will shop for food, prepare and cook it.

So what did your mother do? When you were growing up did she cook from scratch, make the most of what she had and make sure you were eating the right things?

Or did she cut corners, not like cooking or leave you to your own devices?

Whatever the case, it is likely that some of how she brought you up has rubbed off on to you and how you feed your own children or grandchildren will be partly down to your own mother.

As a mother you can shape the health of your children and get them into healthy habits, so what will be your legacy for your kids to pass on?

Growing up, my parents worked very hard and weekends were precious times. My dad would often be working the whole weekend with his own business (I know what that is like!) and my mum would be cooking and cleaning and keeping us kids entertained.

One of the many things that have stuck with me from my upbringing is cooking from scratch, even though I am from the era that had just discovered oven chips!

We grew our own vegetables and had a few fruit bushes in a small patch of garden so my mum made use of everything that she could.

Sometimes there could be some very weird uses for runner beans and marrows.

The freezer was always full of ready-to-use vegetables and my mum’s speciality became pumpkin pie following a year where there was a glut of squash and pumpkins.

So we still ate from the freezer but our food was a much healthier version of the frozen, processed food that is so readily available today.

There was no added salt, chemicals, flavour enhancers and other rubbish in our food, just good basic ingredients.

This ethos has kept me in good health for all of my adult life (although there was a dodgy patch when I was a poor student).

My parent`s legacy for healthy eating has led me to do what I do and has inspired me to help people to be as healthy as they can. It doesn’t have to cost the earth either; in fact it is probably cheaper in the long run to eat this way than to buy processed food (or ready meals).

I try to find in-season vegetables rather than grow my own, as time doesn’t really allow me the luxury of pottering in the garden (although I do own four lovely chickens who give me fresh eggs every day).

My freezer is less full of home-made goodies than my mum’s, but I try to ensure that my twins are eating as healthily as they can.

Let me know what you’re doing to inspire the next generation and fight the problem of ill health and obesity.

· Nikki Caputa is a health and fitness coach who works one-to-one with clients and runs her own fitness camps in Fareham where she trains groups. Nikki is also an ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and a UK Hypo-presive Method Trainer. She helps people master a fitness technique that targets the core. Visit Follow Nikki on Twitter @nikkifitmum1