One disadvantage to being born in the electronic age is that our kids often lack basic skills of healthy living. Today, kids get diseases like type two diabetes, obesity, and other health complications that were virtually non-existent back in the early 1900’s. It seems like kids today know more about caring for the environment than they do about caring for their own health. The reality is that even in many school settings, the health of our kids is not a primary concern.
Yet, one would think that in our learning institutions that health and fitness, in such a modern age, would be one of the primary pillars of our kids modern education–especially with so much talk about the over-burdening costs of health care in the halls of congress and abroad. Unfortunately, when it comes to nutrition and health in general, our kids are sadly far less adept at making healthy choices than they should be. The good news, however, is that parents can have a tremendous impact on this growing problem.
Helping Your Kids Make Healthy Choices
Whether parents realize it or not, children will follow their lead when it comes to making healthy choices. If a parent does not make a habit of keeping soda, candy, and endless bags of chips laying around the kitchen to tempt their children into developing bad eating habits, children will not have a tendency to choose what is not available to them. The mistake many parents make is thinking that their children need an endless supply of junk food around the house.
With many of these junk foods, the sugar in them alone is the primary cause behind obesity, type two diabetes, and now non-alcoholic fatty liver disease devastating the health of younger and younger children. However, what many parents may not be so aware of is that many of the foods they serve their kids for dinner are loaded with plant based poly unsaturated fats.
The danger of cooking with plant based polyunsaturated fats is that the minute you heat them, they turn into trans-fats, the absolute worse type of fat that anyone could ever imagine putting into their body. This is especially a problem with packaged foods, which contain hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, which is just a fancy way of saying you are consuming trans-fats. This ends up being the reason why it is far better to eat heart-healthy real butter rather than heart-clogging margarine.
Eating Real Foods
Today’s children eat so many foods that come in boxes and packages that it is hard for them to recognize where real food comes from. As a parent, it is important to spend time every week with your children talking about real foods and foods that contain real nutrients. Fresh meats, fruits, vegetables, and reduced portions of whole grains are a good place to start. An occasional piece of celery or a piece of fruit is, of course, a far better snack than a candy bar. Moving from wheat to other grains is also showing to cause major health improvements in children as well.
For some kids getting off grains altogether is helpful for eliminating allergies and serious digestive issues. Getting your kids involved in meal planning and preparation each week, will ensure that they will know how to make healthy choices into their adult years. Simple changes in a child’s diet today really does have far reaching implications into the state of their health in years to come.