"What about the Kids" (Blog #57)
Sugar is found in fruits, vegetables, milk, potatoes and a lot of earth given forms. Sugar is also the main ingredient in soda, artificial juice drinks, candy, cookies, cakes, ice cream and pretty much any type of packaged foods. Sugar is a necessity to a humans diet, preferably in the form of real sugar, meaning the type that has little to no processing. Natural foods like apples are great sources of sugar, but they also contain nutrients, minerals and fiber which are nutrient dense and not just calorically dense.
For a month now I've been writing and re-writing this blog because it's a touchy subject to many Americans. Whether you're a mom, dad, grand mom or grand pop or anyone who is around children, you have the ability to dictate a child's food intake. The America we live in now is designed to make us Fat! Between fast-food joints on every corner, play-stations, iPads, iPhones, computers, cars, elevators, escalators and the ever annoying school systems that continually provide our kids with horrific food choices everyday, no wonder why our kids are suffering. And don't forget a school system designed to prepare our youth to become future leaders but are taking away recess time, which we know after countless studies have shown us, kids that move more often get better grades, get better jobs and are happier, healthier adults.
So who is to blame? Well, the answer is simple, the parents are to blame! Yes, like we stated above, the school system feeds our kids foods that are a step above garbage, but you have the ability to pack your children a heathy lunch. Yes, gramps and grams may give the grand babies some chocolate snacks once a week but that's not what causes our obesity epidemic in our youth. It's the 75% of the time that the parents spend with their children that really lay down the future for them. We all have the choice to order pizza or grill up some chicken, go out to a restaurant or stay in and make a nutritious dinner. The options are there and what we do the majority of the time is what has lasting repercussions and habits.
Snacks are normal and absolutely ok for children once in a while, even once or twice a day. As long as they are getting foods that are going to give our kids the ability to grow strong mentally, emotionally and physically. Most Americans kids have horrendous habits that were passed down to them by their parents: Sugary cereal for breakfast, school lunch (which consists of pizza, chicken fingers, french fries and soda), and for dinner, a restaurant that will be sure to give you portion sizes that are big enough to feed three tables around you. Now add on to this a child that watches 4+ hours of TV per day, and a very limited sight of the Sun, this equals a flabby, soft kid that isn't being allowed to use his god given body the way it should be used.
I hear the argument all the time that "it's expensive to eat health," but this is a load of crap. That's another excuse that is a diversionary tactic. I'd have more respect for someone if they would just fess up and say "eating unhealthy is easier"!! Laziness plays a roll in our epidemic, cooking takes effort, time, preparation and work, but the benefits are amazing. Our children benefit from sitting down and eating a home cooked meal with the added benefit of talking to mom or dad about their day. This adds trust and security to the relationship and will seal the bond between parents and children even tighter.
I have always been quick to stand up for people that didn't have a voice or didn't have the ability to share their voice. In high school, the few times I got into trouble was defending kids that were timid and being bullied. I never stood for that and something would always come over me when I would witness that type of situation and I would have to act on it, it led to a few suspensions, but we all need to do what we can to help each other out. In this case, I am speaking up for our innocent, defenseless kids, that have no voice when it comes to the foods they eat, they don't buy the crap foods that are in their house, they don't drive to the restaurants and pick up the bill, they deserve a level playing field to live their lives.
If we continue on the path we're on, our kids will be unable to move, think, problem solve, get a higher education and earn a great job. We must make a lot of changes and they start at home with the parents. We have the ability to turn this around - Instead of giving our kids a bag of chips, cut up an orange for them. Instead of giving them a soda, pour them a glass of water. Instead of letting them have countless scoops of pasta, control their portions to what they need. If you are in the rut that we described above, these changes will definitely be tough, but they are possible and necessary...
Our kids will endure enough hassle and hard ache in the real world, lets not handcuff them early on by adding obesity, diabetes and an early heart attack on top of it.