While every parent knows to teach their children to wash their hands thoroughly before eating and to brush their teeth after every meal, the sad fact is, most of us aren’t as particular about what goes in their mouths. This should be of equal, and perhaps even greater, importance because Americans are not known for having the healthiest of diets. In fact, many of the illnesses, diseases and complaints we experience later in life are the result of poor eating habits as children.
If you were a dietician, you’d recognize just how unhealthy our diets are. In fact, why not get some advanced training in the field while you’re at it? In this way you could make a difference in the lives of other families seeking to raise healthy kids. It’s a thought, isn’t it? At any rate, let’s look at some things we are doing wrong so that we can correct them, one step at a time.
We Truly Are a Nation of Excess
Before delving into the differences between healthy and unhealthy foods, consider the fact that the most recent statistics released in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and later confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1/3 of all adults are obese. This figure purely relates to obesity and not being overweight. It is altogether too easy to supersize any meal at our favorite fast food drive thrus and we carry this thinking throughout every morsel we eat; notwithstanding the fact that those supersize meals are anything but nutritious!
Now more than ever we need to find ways to have fun at home (in our cities and towns) rather than traveling for long distances. One great way to do that is to attend the Columbus festival this summer and have a great time – best staycation ever…
Make the U.S. Department of Agriculture Your BFF
Over the years the basic food groups have changed a bit and so many parents aren’t aware of some of the latest research that was the basis for these changes, no matter how insignificant they may be. Rather than offer a long list of what you should and shouldn’t eat here, you can do some reading on their ChooseMyPlate.gov website. In fact, if you are a history buff as well as someone who wants to raise healthy children, you can check out their history of food guides dating back to the earliest release in 1916. The point is, as science and technology advance, guidance will reflect new knowledge about how certain foods and food groups affect your health.
A Healthy Diet Gives New Meaning to a Time-Honored Phrase
You probably don’t have enough fingers and toes to count on all the times you’ve heard the proverb of uncertain origin, “Home is where the heart is.” Indeed, it’s a family that makes a home, not a structure no matter how large or trendy. Where your family is, there too is your heart. However, that heart can only survive so long if it isn’t given a heart-healthy diet from childhood on. That is why raising healthy kids begins and ends at home.
If you truly want to raise a healthy family, eat more often at home where you can control what your family is eating. You can cook with fresh foods rich in vitamins and minerals while low in the wrong carbs and fats. You can choose organic foods free from pesticides and GMOs. A healthy diet doesn’t need to be boring, so take the time to learn how to cook more with seasonings and less with sugar and fat. So many diseases in later life could have been avoided through simple dietary changes earlier on and that’s what you seek for your kids. It’s up to you to set the standard and there’s no better time for doing so than today.