Let’s face it folks. There is no way we can rely on school to help children fight child hood obesity. It seems that real phys ed in the schools is truly a thing of the past. Remember dodge ball, floor hockey, basketball and red-rover? They’ve been replaced by anything that is non-competitive, non-physical and non-energetic.
Eating breakfast in the morning and disappearing until the streetlights came on is also a thing of the past. If we aren’t over scheduling our kids (to make up for the loss of school activities) we are allowing them to sit in front of Xbox, Wii, PS whatever is current and texting on the couch while listening to their iPods and iPhones. Aye, aye, aye…oy vei!
Times have changed. Food has changed. Activities have changed.
You need to make sure you are doing everything you can to help your kids grow up healthy and physically active. Studies have shown that children that are over-weight become adults that are over-weight. Diabetes is growing at alarming rates and with that also comes heart disease, joint and muscle problems and a shortened life expectancy.
So as a parent, you need to take control. Here are 6 simple steps that can help you fight back for your children’s sake.
1.) Get active. This can be as simple as getting up after dinner and going for a 20 minute brisk walk or enrolling them in an activity that gets them moving for an hour or two per week.
2.) Family fitness first. When was the last time you went for a family bike ride, roller blade or played a game of basketball or street hockey together. It’s fun and gets everyone involved!
3.) Trim the fat. When you are preparing meals avoid using gobs of butter or oil and choose leaner cuts of meat and trim excess fat of the meats you cook.
4.) Plan and prepare. Sit down on Sunday morning and create your menu for the week then go get the ingredients you need. If time permits, make the family meals that day so they are ready to go. Adding a salad to grilled chicken breast and roasted potatoes makes for a quick, easy and healthy meal. This will help you avoid the drive-thru or the delivery meals.
5.) Trash the junk. Kids love to snack on what ever is easy and convenient. That usually means chips and candy, so get rid of it. When it’s not in the house, it’s not available for them.
6.) Supply super snacks. Since you’re getting rid of the crappy snacks, make sure you have good stuff around. Grapes, apples, oranges, bananas, baby carrot sticks, sweet peppers, celery all make great choices. Cut some up and have them ready for after school or for mid day grazing.
7.) Sack the sugar. KIDS DON’T NEED POP. Growing bodies need water. Get rid of sugary drinks like pop, fruit juice and sports drinks. Unless little Johnny is on the ice 6 hours a day, chances are the sports drinks are just going through him. Fruit juice? Yup… 100% pure means lots of sugar in a glass. Sure its natural sugar, but think about how many oranges would make a glass of orange juice, there is too much of a good thing except, more water!!!
You may be surprised how easy these are to make happen in your home. In fact, do it for just a few days and you’ll kids will be coming up with suggestions or reminding you that its time to walk or ask if you want to play a game killer game of H-O-R-S-E on the driveway.
You can learn more about child obesity here
First Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net