August 16, 2016
If healthy eating is easy, why are more than 33 percent of children and adolescents overweight and obese? Twenty-five million kids and teenagers struggle with their weight.
Shrinking this number really starts at home, with what parents are serving for dinner. But kids spend most of their day at school. Without an understanding of what to eat and why, how can they succeed in the battle against childhood obesity? Since parents aren't always around to help children choose an apple over a bag of potato chips, they need to be educated in how to make the right health decisions.
Parents, here's a plan for teaching kids how to eat healthy:
If parents are grabbing sugary soda and unhealthy snacks throughout the day, kids may model that behavior. Mom and dad set the tone for how the family will eat, from what kind of foods are purchased to what is served at the dinner table. The saying "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" takes on a whole new meaning in this context. Modelling proper eating habits will give your children the right foundation for a lifetime of health.
Kids should know that eating poorly is about more than just waistlines. Obesity raises the risk of developing countless other health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Scaring kids isn't the tactic here. The goal is educating them about how to eat healthy and why healthy eating is important.
There are many ways to take action and make healthy living a family goal and a community standard. Sign up for a walk or run to benefit your local United Way. This gets the family exercising and helps others who don't have access to the proper nutrition they need. Show kids how important healthy eating is by donating healthy food to families in need. Volunteer with your family and help spread this important message from the dinner table to the community and beyond.