I have recently been working with elementary students during their activity hours and had a shock of reality for some children I met. I listened to two different 3rd graders tell me they are overweight, and one little girl cried because of it. The P.E. coach told me she has been a diabetic since age of 4, and heart just melts for those children, and I just wish there was something more I could do for them.
Where does it all start? At home! It's not fair to punish your children by feeding them horrible food, and not showing them how to live a healthy lifestyle. They don't have a voice at a young age enough to make a change themselves, so why not help guide them? Thats your job as a parent. If you have a chance to mentor a child, or other parents who might just not know where to begin, please step up and do so. Make a difference in someones life!
Here are a couple simple steps for parents, that can make a huge difference.
1. Keep healthy food/snacks in your home. (I clean and chop up fruit, and put it in containers/baggies in the fridge drawer so I have an easy go to snack.)
2. Pack their lunch, so you can control what they are eating
3. Promote physical activity
4. Dont use physical activity as a punishment
5. Avoid using food as a reward to children
6. Let them cook with you, make it a fun learning experience
7. Try to avoid keeping drinks full of sugar around, or make sure they drink them in moderation
8. Find a fun activity to do with your children, this is something they will always remember. I still remember going rollerblading with my mom in the park!
9. Cook at home more, try to avoid eating out as much as possible.
10. Don't keep junk in your pantry/fridge (If you keep good food around, you will eat good food. Proteins, fruits, veggies, and almonds are great to keep on hand, you can eat more of it, and it will keep you full)
Obviously we want children to experience a fun childhood and enjoy their sweets, I am not saying take any of that away by any means. Just do it in moderation, don't be stopping at sonic after school everyday.. etc.
Help make a difference in someones life! It is such a great feeling to know you can make a difference by just giving advice, and motiviation. As your child gets older, they will know how to take better care of themselves.