I am so saddened recently by the number of kids that I work with that are worrying about their weight, blood pressure, and dying from a heart attack (TRUTH). Back to school also means annual physicals. Many of the students/clients I work with are either overweight or obese. Doctors are openly sharing this information with parents and the kids are hearing their feedback. They hear that they weigh too much, their blood pressure and heart rate is too high, and they will be at risk of high cholesterol. (I am NOT slighting doctors for sharing this information! It does need to be addressed.)
Can you imagine being told this at the age of 11?!
Children do not really know what is and is not healthy. They may hear at school what is “healthy”, but they do not really know about portions, fat content, processed foods, salt levels, etc. They simply trust their parents to give them food that will make them grow to be big and strong. My heart is breaking for these kids because they are stressing over a problem they basically have no control over.
I literally have kids asking me if it is okay to eat certain things, saying that they are eating too much after only eating 1/3 of their lunch, asking what their heart rate is, saying they are afraid of dying from a heart attack, and expressing being ashamed of their bodies. And this includes just as many boys as girls.
Parents must take it upon themselves to be educated about food. Parents must be willing to make the sacrifices it takes to prepare nutritious, whole foods for their kids (this may include financial and TIME sacrifices… though whole foods really are not more expensive… but this is content for another post). Processed, fatty, sugar, and carb laden foods are extremely addictive. When parents expose and inundate their children with these foods from an early age, they are building patterns of addiction that will be so difficult to break in the future and can ultimately lead our children to a lower life expectancy.
It is not too late to start. Yes, I understand that kids are picky and will reject food. This is where the sacrifice comes in. Kids will not allow themselves to starve. If you provide them with healthy foods, they will eat them IF they do not have other options. Make sure unhealthy foods are not available, and then embark on this journey of getting them to eat right. They will eat. You may have to wait it out. They may reject dinner one night. They will not starve. Yes… I realize this is controversial. Yes… I realize people may see this as extreme. But I see allowing our children to develop excessive stored fat, become prone to bullying, have high blood pressure, and be at risk of high cholesterol as being WAY more neglectful than a child CHOOSING to not eat dinner for one or two nights (the food IS provided).
What are your struggles with your kids eating habits?
Where do you cave or have a hard time following through?
How can I help you to tackle this issue in your home?
I know you love your kids, parents!!
Show them love by not allowing them to eat for immediate gratification and to fuel their bodies instead!