The Loop: Rainbow mash

Coloured mash Image copyright Thinkstock

Welcome to The Loop, the Magazine's weekly letters column, including the best of your thoughts from Twitter and Facebook.

Most of your comments this week focus on Denise Winterman's short feature on mindless eating, asking if this is the way to get children to eat their greens.

Mindless eating is when you eat food without really registering it and nearly all of us do it, explained Jane Ogden, professor in health psychology at the University of Surrey and author of The Good Parenting Food Guide. The idea is to put good food out for children while they are, say, watching telly and hopefully they will tuck in without thinking.

"Surely, letting your children lounge around watching TV is just as unhealthy as them not eating enough vegetables," suggests Alfons Zimmermann.

"Try giving them uncooked vegetables and include colourful ones perhaps with a little fruit juice, raw they're not so bitter to a child's taste buds," says Suzanne Ross from Twickenham.

But David Hurst from Worcester is sure that his child would quickly see "through this ingenious plan, as cunningly developed as it may be".

David, we think you might have exhausted all trickery known to man.

"He bides his time, waits, gets his staple brioche and laughs in to the smiley face of grape eyes, red pepper lips and lettuce hair. He simply eats the bread stick nose once the brioche has been shovelled in and then back to Cbeebies. Any other ideas? I favour the threat of all woes betiding him coupled with complicated and convoluted sanctions."

For Steve Haywood, the article brings back fond childhood memories.

"My mother would get me as a child to shell peas in the garden and believe me I didn't know she was tricking me into eating them! Stolen peas are pure gold. They were lovely until she cooked them. Once she coloured our mashed potatoes with food colouring and I thought I was eating a rainbow! Apples were not very exciting until she covered them with toffee and put them on the end of a stick." We're not sure about the covering it in toffee approach, though - seems to be something of a step backwards.

On Monday, our stats watcher Anthony Reuben revealed that there are 49 lucky people who get to have a sneak preview of the Office for National Statistics (ONS)'s official inflation figures - a day before the rest of the world. So other than the actual people who have worked them out (and their spouses and partners - everyone talks about work at home don't they?), there are just short of 50 key movers and shakers who simply can't wait. The prime minister for one, and the governor of the Bank of England. There are those who don't think this is fair.

Mike Teulon from London thinks the reason for the select few being given a look-see is a poor one.

"The government excuse "that the public and the media expected ministers to be able to answer questions about statistics as soon as they are released" is clearly nonsense as ministers don't understand statistics ever - even a year after they've been released. Ministers are only ministers because they understand politics."

Image copyright Other
Image caption Me.We Car, Toyota (Image: Small Dots)

The London's Design Museum opened its doors to Paul Kerley to talk through some of its finalists in its Designs of the Year 2014 exhibition. The resulting audio-slideshow featured striking architectural structures, curvaceous chairs, a floating school and concept cars made of polystyrene.

Jonathan Stiles leaves this message on our Facebook page: "A polystyrene body? Hmmm . . . Fine in a perfect world but I foresee vandals with their cigarettes enjoying the opportunity that presents. Careful where you park."

Severine Labarthe thinks the design of the car is "lovely" but wouldn't stand much of a chance in a strong wind.

To round off, we come to curious phrase of the week - the Martin-Paltrow "conscious uncoupling". (Yes, we covered it too). Those of us who thought uncoupling was something which happened to trains at Carstairs were wrong, it seems. According to Tom de Castella's article, this description of separation derives from an essay by Gwyneth's spiritual advisers: "Although it looks like everything is coming apart; it's actually all coming back together."

Steevo, from Thetford is still confused: "So subconsciously they are a couple?"

All change.

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