Tuesday, 27 March 2012
How do we keep our kids healthy in a society where 12.5 million of our youth is obese? There are fast food restaurants on every corner and our lives our so hectic we usually don’t get home in time to prepare a healthy meal. Not to mention that it is just easier and cheaper to get fast food or stock our pantry with canned food, and our freezer with frozen foods. We spend so much time in the car going from one activity to another that it seems we can’t even find the time for physical activity.
My son started to have weight issues around the age of 4, and I realized that we had to change our lifestyle or he was going to have a really hard time. He always had feeding issues so I became used to giving him easy to eat processed foods. It soon was the only thing he would eat. I became complacent. I didn’t want to hear him throw tantrums so I gave in. It hit me one day that I actually allowed my toddler to dictate what he was he was going to eat. He has no knowledge of what is healthy for him, so why in the world did I let him control his diet. Needless to say, I woke up fast.
We have come a long way. I no longer allow him to dictate what he’s going to eat. He still has choices, but they’re good choices. However, I do trick him. I know I know sneaky Mommy. He loves a certain fast food restaurants cheeseburger, so I make turkey burgers that I mix with fresh spinach (Did I mention spinach is my favorite mystery veggie? I put it in everything.) I put the turkey cheeseburger on a small bun with ketchup and he is none the wiser. He’s happy and I’m happy because he’s not eating pink slime. I often have him sit up at the kitchen island and help me prepare meals. He enjoys helping and is more eager to eat the meal he helped to make. On our super busy days I prepare a crock pot meal the night before and turn it on in the morning. When we get home we have a nice hot meal waiting for us.
I also make sure that we have at least an hour of activity a night. Sometimes we will turn on some music and dance and sing while we clean up the house. My garage is in the back of our house, so I will race my son around to the front of the house.
I understand that in the chaotic world we live in it is not always practical to live healthy. I will admit at first it was so difficult to change our lifestyle, but I am so glad we did. Living this way has become second nature for us now. It has made us feel better and best of all it has helped me be even more involved in my son’s life. We have such a great time together.
My favorite boy went from being in the 85th percentile in weight to the 53rd percentile. He has more energy and is happier. Let me just say as his Mom I am so relieved that he is healthier and I am thrilled that I made a change for us. I am always looking for new and fun ideas for mealtime and playtime.
How does your family stay healthy? Please share your ideas!