We’re Killing Our Kids

 

As a nation, we’re killing our kids. .   38% of the children in our country are overweight.  The statistics are frightening!  Research from the Boston Children’s Hospital says that children are becoming obese by ages 2-4.  They are developing diabetes by age 12-14.  If the current trend continues they will be developing catastrophic illness by age 30; liver disease, strokes, and heart attacks.  Another statistic says that this is the first generation of kids that are not going to outlive their parents.  Fortunately there are a few things we can do to curb this trend. .

First, adults must make the decision to purchase the healthier choices and leave the unhealthier choices at the store in order to affect children’s eating behaviors. Finding creative ways to incorporate more fruits and veggies and offering them for snacks verses chips, cookies etc.  For example, make fruit popsicles, let kids do peanut butter in celery, provide hummus or a dill yogurt for dipping cut veggies or make smoothies.

Second, help kids find activity they enjoy even if it’s as simple as taking a walk with your child.  You may even find you enjoy this uninterrupted time to have open and meaningful communication with your child.  Not only does physical activity help children maintain a healthy weight, it also improves self-esteem, confidence, and feelings of well-being. It helps build and maintain bones, muscles, and joints, and lowers risk of heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes.

Third, teach kids to work through obstacles like, being bored, upset, or frustrated where they might reach for food. Teaching kids about balance between friends, parents and other activities, setting goals, learning how to express emotions, communicating, and getting along with others all play a part in enabling kids to build life-long healthy habits.

Reverse the trend with your kids by providing healthier options, moving with your kids and teaching them lifelong coping skills that will allow them to develop healthy life long habits.

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