This issue holds a special place in my heart. As a mama of two I know how important it is for our kids health and nutrition in today’s world. The month of September is devoted to fighting childhood obesity and taking back our kids health. Our children’s generation may be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents! That’s scary and completely absurd! “Since 1980, childhood obesity has tripled! 1 in 3 kids fall within the overweight and obese category, and the numbers continue to increase,” reports Charity Sub. This epidemic leaves our children at risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone and joint problems, teasing, bullying, low self-esteem, and social alienation.
It’s estimated only 2% of American children eat enough fruits and vegetables! 2%!!!!!That’s insane to me! Considering we are one of the richest countries with the most available food, but instead we continue to starve and deprive our children from the health and nutrition they deserve to live long, happy, and healthy lives. “Kids ages 8-18 spend 7.5 hours a day on entertainment media, including television, cell phones, computers, and video games. And of that time, 4.5 hours is spent watching tv,” says Charity Sub. What happened to the days when our parents kicked us out of the house to play outside until they called us home for dinner? Or what happened to all the sports and activities we drug our parents to day-in and day-out because we couldn’t miss a practice or a game? Now, only 4% of elementary schools have gym classes!
It’s not too late, as parents and adults we are responsible to nurture, care for, and give the children of today the right to live up to the best of their abilities, to be able to do whatever their hearts desire, to be able to chase every dream they’ve ever wanted, but instead we’re allowing something as simple as food and nutrition snatch that all away from them. We let fast food restaurants dictate what our kids should eat. Did you know that 50% of all advertisements promoting food and beverages are focused directly at children? No wonder we have an epidemic. They’re staring into the tv for hours on end and constantly being reminded that coolest new toy is inside their happy meal at McDonald’s!
The solution is so simple and requires an everyday effort and that’s hard for busy Americans. But with a little extra time, planning ahead, education, and mindfulness we can take back our children’s health and give them a life worth living, free from disease and free from un-necessary medications and illnesses.
Here are a few ideas to get you started. Plan grocery trips in advance-make a list of
things you need not WANT. Get the kids involved,they love to get their hands dirty and jump into the mix! Let them help you cook or go shopping with you. Try out new recipes. Make food fun and tasty. Decide to eat more home cooked meals. Plan a weekly menu. Read labels-what you see isn’t always what you’re get! Buy local from your farmers and farmers markets-most times it’s less expensive than the stores. Start a garden and grow your own food (believe me the kids will want to help with that too and they’ll be outside and getting some physical activity!) Go to the beach, rides bikes, take a walk, try a new activity, go to a play ground and just let them run. When they tucker out you’ll be happy that you”ll actually get some downtime too! Bonus!!
A little overwhelming? Seek advice from the experts. Follow Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution, he has so much to offer from recipes, to cooking demos, information and knowledge. Find a local chef that offers cooking classes or holistic health coach that can get you jump started and off in the right direction. Even look into local companies that do community outreach. I hope this information gives a lot of insight to what we seem to be ignoring and that is our future generation. They deserve better! Stay tuned for what’s in store and up and coming this spring with Balanced Living Health and Wellness. The kids will be having too much fun!
Charity Sub- http://www.charitysubs.org