Hamilton mother-of-two and healthy meal budgeting guru Kathrine Lynch says turning back the scales on growing childhood obesity rates is the responsibility of parents.

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, the founder of Busy Happy Kids believes mums and dads are being caught out by unhealthy takeaways, thinking they're a cheaper option compared to cooking at home.

"Fast food is marketed in a way to sound like it's good value for money," Lynch said, advising that the more cost effective choice is to "buy meat that is on special, veggies in season and learn a few basic recipes".

She says parents "will be surprised how little it can cost to whip up a quick, healthy dinner."

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Lynch first garnered attention when she launched a food challenge and made 62 meals for just $140.

READ MORE: • Kiwi mum makes a week's worth of family meals for $140

Since then she has also created a $70 a week Summer budget plan including a shopping list, weekly menu and dinner recipes.

While believing responsibility sits with parents, she says the problem is often a lack of education.

"When it comes to children's weight, education is a key factor. People don't know what they don't know, if parents haven't learned how to budget and cook at home or school, where do we expect them to learn it from?"

Lynch says she does a lot of work with low income families assisting with budgeting and cooking.

ROTORUA DAILY POST
29 Jun, 2018 2:36pm
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"... so they can make positive changes I teach them how to eat healthy on a low budget - my $70 budget is an example of this."

In her own home, Lynch spends between $100 and $200, noting the higher cost comes in the weeks she buys bulk meat.

So what can you do if you're after some advice to change up your family's meals and provide more nutritional food for your kids?

Lynch's number one tip is to start a diary and track what your child is eating and how much physical activity they are doing over the course of seven days.

"Are there areas they can improve their diet; reduce foods high in sat, saturated fat and sugar, increase fruits, veggies and lean meats and how can they incorporate more activity - bike rides, trips to the playground, swimming?" she asks.

And she expects many parents will be "shocked at the results."

Acknowledging healthy eating "takes time and commitment" she says a few small changes can be the beginning of a much healthier future for your kids.

"Instill good eating and exercise habits while they are young and chances are they will follow these through into adulthood."