Are We Raising Unhealthy Kids? How Parents CanTurn this Trend Around!
We hear it on the news and read about it in the newspaper, the obesity rate in kids is growing, leaving them at risk for serious health problems now and as adults. As parents, it raises a lot of concerns. How can we turn this alarming trend around? How do we raise healthy kids?
It’s proven that parents who are committed to their own healthy, active lifestyle raise healthy, active kids. Our own family participates in multiple sports – from my husband who swims and cycles to myself who runs and goes to the gym to our kids who dance, ski and do triathlons. It’s an integral part of our lifestyle as a family.
So what’s the difference between our family and all these other families whose kids are at risk? What are we doing differently than other families? The difference is commitment and effort. . . . from the parents.
Commitment to Staying Active
It takes a commitment to staying active, and effort to teach kids to ride bikes, play hockey, swim, do gymnastics. It takes effort to make the time for them to play or practice, to drive them, to organize games, to get outdoors with them and have active play dates.
It also takes parents modeling an active lifestyle. Parents need to plan active family time, not just family time. Go for a skate, a bike ride, a jog, a hike as a family. Be active yourself. Active parents have a better chance of raising active kids and active families are healthy families.
Commitment to Healthier Foods
It’s about more than just taking vitamins, it takes a commitment to eating healthy and an effort to make your kids healthy snacks. Starting with stocking the fridge with healthy fruits and passing up the convenient processed foods at the grocery store.
I know we are all busy and it’s so tempting when it’s right there to just skip the effort this one time. It takes two second to purchase the pre-made cereal and marshmallow snacks at the store and 10 minutes to make them at home. Is the extra 8 minutes worth your kids eating the artificial chemicals and dyes found in most of these packaged snacks?
It’s one thing to see all these brightly colored convenient snacks with familiar cartoon characters begging children’s attention on grocery store shelves, its another to see a child after child with a lunch box completely full of processed food.
Today, kids are going to school with lunches made entirely of prepackaged convenience foods. Too often their lunches consist of a cello bag of chips,a plastic tube of yogurt, a packaged soft cookies, a wrapped tray of meat,cheese and crackers and a can of soda. Most of these children are too young to have packed that lunch on their own or to be responsible for making their own healthy choices.
As parents it takes our commitment to not buy so many packaged foods and to take the time every couple of weeks to make healthy snacks that can be stored in the freezer and popped in lunch boxes on school mornings.
Parents have the opportunity to teach their children about healthy food choices and healthy activity choices. Show your kids that exercise, staying active, eating fruits,vegetables and homemade foods is a commitment to a healthy lifestyle that your family is willing to make.
We have so much opportunity to teach them healthy habits that will last a lifetime. As parents, we certainly do influence what our children eat and how they stay active when they are young.
Are you raising healthy kids?
BIO: Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who,when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs aboutRaising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active. You can visit her websites to learn more www.iron-kids.com & www.adultgummies.com
AnnMarie Brown says
I always love making my children’s snack and with one of my children have Celiac disease there really isn’t much of an option.
We try to be active and eat healthy. Lead by example for our little one. It is so important.
Nicole King says
I love this post! We’ve been trying to teach our children to make healthy choices and be active by leading by example. So far it’s working. My daughter loves to “workout” with me. You should see her rendition of a push-up! hahaha.
Lisa aka Fab Frugal Mama says
We eat quite well… no pre-packaged lunches here! But I must admit I’m not the best example in the exercise dept. We walk a lot, and are active in swimming, dance class, etc. but I need to make a better effort to be active for myself and my own health. Thanks for the inspiration!
my oldest is only 5 and already he would prefer to stay inside and play video games and lego. I feel like it was only yesterday that he would cry when we had to go inside. Luckily for now, he hears his brothers out there laughing and having fun and it draws him out but I know it will be a struggle when the youngest enters this stage
Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says
I am all about moderation. I feel like an overall healthy diet can include some treat foods and still be a healthy diet. We love our snacks in my family, but it’s just a piece of the puzzle and now that my kids are young adults, I can see that it has worked. They are fit, healthy adults who still make excellent food choices with occasional indulgences.
I love teaching my kids about healthy eating. Their lunches are full of healthy snack, we try to eat as unprocessed as we can. We were eating non hydrogenated before it came out. I am recently on a fitness kick to get in shape and the kids are all in on it with us. It’s the best example we can set for them to know fitness needs to be a part of their lives.