Getting our kids to understand nutrition isn’t always an easy feat. However, it’s important and something you can do as a family. This starts with family meals & our daily activities.
There may always be debates over the definition of “obese” but the growth of diabetes can’t be debated. It’s unfortunate and on the rise. So what do we do? Change has to start at the dinner table. And that means a well-balanced meal for our children starting at a very young age. The sooner we can build healthy eating habits, the more likely they are to stick throughout their life, reducing the risk of health-related diseases and allowing them to live fuller, healthier lives.
Programs all over the United States are growing in their efforts to combat childhood obesity. First Lady Michelle Obama started Let’s Move with the mission to solve the problem of obesity in our children so that they will live long, healthy lives, and in turn, raise another healthy generation after them.
Growing fitness programs like P90X, CrossFit, and bootcamps continue to appear for adults, but for our children, it all starts with some time in the front yard. Simple games such as tag, “Red Rover,” and kickball help our children be active. Encourage the children to spend more time outside and less time watching television. If they prefer to play video games, try incorporating active games on the Nintendo Wii that have them up and moving – and don’t be afraid to play with them! .
Our job as parents and caretakers is to provide kids with healthy food options. They don’t have to be nasty. And a piece of cake every now and then isn’t a bad thing. The idea is to incorporate a healthy, balanced program where children are getting the essentials – greens, proteins, and fruit – all the time. It ok to mix in an occasional treat now and then.
The problem lies when we start eating out all the time or think that French fries and fried chicken are the answer to every meal. It’s up to us as parents to make sure our children and grandchildren outlive us and do so without major health issues related to obesity. The earlier we can start building their healthy eating habits, the better the results will be over the course of their lifetime.