Nina Young | February 06, 2018
How much thought do you put into feeding your family? For most of us, it’s as simple as a quick scan of the fridge and pantry. We’ll select something healthy, affordable and tasty and we won’t give it another thought. For parents like Sydney mum-of-three Micaela Hopkins, the process is a lot more complicated.
Two of Micaela’s sons, Josh,11 and Tom, 9, were both born with phenylketonuria (PKU) – a genetic condition that means you are unable to break down certain amino acids in protein. People with PKU need to eat an extremely controlled low protein diet, otherwise, they can end up with brain damage and serious neurological impairment.
Some people with PKU can be restricted to a diet of as little as 1-8 grams of protein a day. Micaela’s boys are able to eat a little more than that, up to 14 grams of protein, which is still a far cry from the daily intake of 48-64 grams that the average Australian is eating.
Micaela says she can’t plan too far ahead when preparing her boy’s meals, instead, she must do constant arithmetic throughout the day to ensure her boys are staying under the safe protein limit.
“I’ll feed them breakfast at home and they’ll have a carefully calculated lunch to take with them to school, how much of their lunch they eat will then determine what they can have for dinner.”
The constant maths and strictness can be tough, particularly for the boys who are getting older and more independent. Something as simple as a few extra hot chips eaten while hanging out with their mates can have negative health consequences.
Could you do it?
The Metabolic Dietary Disorders Association (MDDA) are setting Australian’s a challenge, try living like Micaela’s family for a full day and see just how difficult it really is.
Here’s how you can help:
Visit www.thegreatproteinchallenge.com.au for more information and to register and donate.
- Choose to ‘PLEDGE or PLAY’ to support the cause and help raise awareness.
- PLEDGE: donate funds directly to support the cause OR to sponsor and support a friend taking the challenge and PLAYING their protein.
- PLAY: Abstain from eating protein-rich foods (such as meat, eggs, chocolate or dairy) for 24 hours, and ask your friends to PLEDGE their support for you.
- Host a PLAY date of your own (as a corporation or group) and play together as a team.
- Share your experiences and join the online conversation by using #lowpro4PKU
- Encourage friends, family or colleagues to get involved.
Originally publish on The Kids Spot – https://www.kidspot.com.au/health/family-health/real-life/i-have-to-count-every-gram-my-kids-eat/news-story/4718b0370dda917b5de715d4826ce580