As a mom, this just makes me furious. Seriously, more people are paying attention to Justin-freaking-Beiber and some stupid video game than we are the health of our children? What the heck is wrong with us?
This. Is. Not. Okay. It isn’t an issue limited by geography, economics, gender – this is ubiquity, and the majority of us (people who like to go online and ‘talk’ about stuff) are essentially sticking our heads in the sand and choosing to stay quiet? Look where it’s getting us. No. Look where it’s getting our KIDS.
The time has come to commit to the next generation. Make your kids PLAY. (Seriously, do you remember summers when you were a kid when your mom kicked you out of the house to play and you could come in for lunch and dinner, and maybe if you had to pee?) What has changed?
Oh yeah. Screens.
Easy fix? Limit the flippin’ screens.
And just because there’s easy, colorful food out there doesn’t mean it’s good for our kids. Apples and blueberries are colorful. Put THOSE on a plate. There’s a lot to be said for “Eating the Rainbow”. My mom was a genius at this, and to this day, meals in our house are all about balance. The kids don’t always like it, but they have to have three bites anyway. So far, nobody has died. Remember, YOU are the parent. Who cares if they don’t like it? It’s healthy, it’ll make them strong. It might keep them from more unpleasant things – like having to stick their finger to read their blood sugars multiple times a day and give themselves shots to keep their Type 2 Diabetes in check. (I know my kids would much rather play and eat some carrots.)
The thing is, while there are certainly medical issues that can impact childhood obesity, there are a lot more issues impacting it. Of course there are people for whom health issues are not of their doing. We know those people. It’s sad and so hard to witness. Fortunately, it’s also not as common as our own bad habits causing the problems.
First and foremost, we have a responsibility as parents. For most of us, this is not nearly as easy as we think it should be. Our kids may rail against limits on screens, healthy snacks vs packaged sweets or chips, and forced outside playtime, but we have to keep in mind that this is their future we’re talking about.
I don’t know about you, but I’d feel like a bit of a failure as a mom if I raised an adult who didn’t know how to eat right and exercise, who was at risk for a life shortened by diabetes and heart disease, and who propagated bad habits because it’s what they learned.
A recipe from me to you:
- Take a skewer.
- Put some colorful fresh cut fruit on it.
- Mix some honey and vanilla into greek yogurt to make a dip. (If you need to, put some food coloring in it or some sprinkles on it to make it fun.) Go wild. Add cinnamon.
- Put it in front of your kid when they ask for a snack.
(It’s a little known fact that food on a stick tastes better.)
It’s a rant, but at least I said something. As for Beiber and Call of Duty? I got nothin’.
What will you do?
Thanks to “Is Child Obesity A Global Problem?” for the initial post.