Posts filed under ‘Children and Young Adults’
How healthy are your children? Are you finding that they are starting to gain more weight than they should? What activities are your children involved in? Do you find they are pretty active and yet are still starting to get heavy?
Children are our future and how healthy they are today will have a direct impact of how healthy they become as adults. There is an alarming rise in obesity amongst children. In fact, childhood diabetes in not only on the rise but it is growing daily. This will lead to additional health issues such as cardiovascular disease, immune issues and much more.
Now is the time to start having a positive impact on your child’s health! You can start by learning about the benefits of building muscle through weight training for your children. Fred Hahn, the author of Strong Kids Healthy Kids, will speak to you about the studies done and how to incorporate weight training into your children’s lives. Not only will your kids love it but so will their bodies.
LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST titled “Adolescent Obesity & Fitness” to learn how to start having a positive impact on your kids health.
For more on kids, GO HERE.
Last week there was a statistic in the Daily Camera about the number of hours people watch TV on average per month. The number astounded me… 151 hours!!! That equates to about 5 hours per day! I just can’t imagine. Not only can’t I imagine, but it has gotten me thinking about the inundation of commercials this puts into our brains. These commercials teach us about eating fast food and taking lots of medications.
When I was in nutrition school in NYC, we had a speaker talking about commercials. Although I can’t remember who exactly it was, the impression he left has not gone away. Basically what he presented was how commercials lure you into thinking that your life is not complete. Companies present you with these idyllic lifestyles, showing people that are healthy and happy. They then indicate this would not be the case if it weren’t for a certain drug or food that the people in the commercial are consuming.
Whether we like it or not, this gets into our subconscious and we start down the path to finding this nirvana that only comes with something outside of ourselves. It is a wonder we are overweight, obese, taking too many medications and generally not healthy? Think about it.
How many hours a day do you watch TV? What do you gain from it?
I would like to challenge you. Buy a little notebook. For at least one week, write down how many hours a day that you sit in front of the tube. Record the shows you watch and mostly record what is being advertised during that time. Then, do the following:
- Ask yourself if the show stimulated your brain in some healthy way.
- Watch how much you respond to those commercials.
- Do you get hungry for some fast food that would have never crossed your mind had you not seen an advertisement for it?
- More than that, do you respond?
- Do you go out and eat some junk food that not only doesn’t fulfill you but supports you being less than healthy?
- Last, do you find yourself thinking that “If only I took that medication I too would feel better!”
Is this the way you want to live your life? Do you want someone else influencing you what to eat and what medications you are told you need to take?
I believe this process will help you to take back control of your own life. Once you see how much marketing can influence your thoughts and actions you may choose to do something different.
Start making a list of things you can do that stimulate your brain, offer you exercise, make you notice the amazing world around us, and provide you with a social setting where you can have great conversation rather than all just staring at the tube together. Once you have your list, start implementing some of those things into your evenings and weekends rather than watching television. I think what you will find will be a richer, more rewarding life that provides you with healthy alternatives to the dreaded marketing gurus on TV!
There are no two ways about it. Our children are getting heavier; some even falling into the category of obese. It is now estimated that one in five children will be overweight by the end of elementary school. According to the Center for Disease Control, one in three children born in 2000 will develop diabetes. In fact, early signs of atherosclerosis are showing up in children by the time they graduate from high school. According to the American Heart Association, studies are indicating that the arterial walls of overweight and obese children looked more like those of a 45 year old person!
This is not right. As you can well imagine, a large portion of these issues are related to poor dietary choices. These choices are being made at home but also through school lunch programs. Unfortunately, a lot of foods that end up in the school lunch programs are based on where the money comes from. For example in 2005, the USDA allocated 60% of food commodity funds to meat, dairy and egg products whereas only 5% of food commodity funds went to fresh fruits and vegetables.
So what can we do about all this? It seems we are all so busy it is just too difficult to imagine doing anything other than letting your kids eat the school lunches and/or running by a fast food restaurant and grabbing something quick. The tragedy in this is that we often don’t really know what is in any of that food.
I decided to interview a busy mom to see how she handles things.
Steph Ryder is a full time mother of 2 that also works part time. She has a great husband that helps when he can but most of the food choices fall to her. Her daughter, Georgina is 6’1” at 14 years old. Needless to say, she plays basketball! She practices three times a week for about two hours each. Her son, Frank is about 5’5” at 11 years old and is a major hockey player. During hockey season, he plays 5 days a week for about an hour per day. Can you imagine just how hungry these kids are???
Here’s what Steph told me:
JW: So what is your basic philosophy?
Steph: I have always cooked at home for the kids. They are used to eating healthy food; in fact they actually hate fast food! Although my life is busy, I make a point of preparing their meals. It really isn’t that difficult. I put something on the grill and have something with it like fresh vegetables and potatoes. I also keep healthy food in the house for snacks after school. Frankie’s favorite snack is a Caesar Salad. So, I always have everything to make that so when he walks in the house it is available.
JW: Do you plan your meals in advance?
Steph: No way! I don’t have time so I mostly fly by the seat of my pants. If I am really rushed, I get a whole roasted chicken and serve it with steamed asparagus and potatoes. I just do stuff that is easy and doesn’t take much time.
JW: Are the kids picky?
Steph: No. They’re used to eating healthy. In fact, if we don’t have a lot of time, I go by Whole Foods and let them pick out what they want to eat.
JW: What do you do for breakfast? For lunch?
Steph: I always cook them breakfast. It always has some kind of protein, like eggs for example. I also always make their lunch. I don’t feel good about what’s available at school so I usually do it myself. I will make them a sandwich with some fruit, maybe chips and always water. I NEVER give them soft drinks!
JW: What about dinner?
Steph: They often have practice shortly after school so we tend to eat dinner late afternoon. As I said earlier, I usually throw something on the grill. Then when they get home later they might have another snack. I always keep eggs in the house. Georgina loves an egg on a bagel. Then, on Sunday’s we always eat dinner together as a family. I think this is really important.
JW: Do you eat out?
Steph: Hardly ever! I don’t trust what is in the food. Besides it is much cheaper to eat at home, even with eating really good food. For example, I don’t like them to eat meat out because you just don’t know what you are getting. I don’t want them to get all those hormones and antibiotics that are in a lot of meat! Also, I try to buy organic whenever possible.
JW: Anything else you would like to share?
Steph: Eating healthy really isn’t that hard. It doesn’t take that long to prepare. I think it’s easy. Also, if we do ever eat out, we never let the kids order off the children’s menu. The food is always fried! Instead we have them pick a main course and split it between them. This was the case when they were younger. Also, just to emphasize it, I always give them lots of water to drink. I don’t buy junk. Oh and I just realized they haven’t been side once this year!
JW: Would you like to share any of your easy recipes?
For a fast vegetable dish I sauté zucchini, yellow squash, sweet onion and mushrooms in a little olive oil. Then, right before I serve it, I drizzle a little balsamic glaze over it. The kids love it!
I also make a corn dish that they love. I sauté sweet corn (frozen organic) and onion in a little butter and thyme. I then cut up a chipotle pepper and add it along with a little of the adobe sauce it comes in. It has a great spicy taste.
In the winter I make a lot of soups and dishes in the crock pot. Those are so easy and can be made ahead of time.
JW: Thanks for taking the time to share all this with me.
Steph: Sure. I hope it gives other mom’s ideas!
Have you and your children watched the FREE Nutrition Detectives webinar on my website? If you haven’t, you might consider it and here’s why…
Being healthy as a child and young adult will directly impact how healthy you are as an adult. Conversely the opposite is true as well. Of the many overweight children, it is estimated that 2/3 of them will most likely be overweight adults. And, the way in which we educate our young about diet from birth to about the age of 10 will affect the way in which they eat for the rest of their lives!
There is no greater incentive than this to teach our children about healthy foods. Be an example yourself.
Then, once you figure out the food situation, start working on their level of activity. Find out what they love to do and get them started. It does not matter if it is something you would personally choose or not. If they enjoy swimming, running, dancing, yoga or whatever, it is up to you to get them into it. Anything that involves movement is a great start. Your job is to initiate it and support them.
I had the opportunity to interview a young woman about her passion. Here is her story…