Are You Unknowingly Making Your Kids Fat?
Getting your child—or, worse, your children—to eat a full, healthy meal every night can be a challenge. Well, actually, scratch that. I don’t want to use the word “challenge” here, because that’s pretty much the understatement of the year. Getting your child (or children) to eat a full, healthy meal every night can be a $^%&*@#%$^!@’ problem! As in, it can be damn-near impossible if you don’t have the time, patience, and, well, more patience to sit there and serve them something nutritious. A lot of times it’s much easier to pop four chicken nuggets into the microwave, heat up some macaroni and cheese (again, in the microwave!), and call it a day. There’s no tears, no yelling, and, at the end of the meal, you’re a hero for serving the kids what they want.
Problem is, that’s going to have a huge effect on them later. Because things like chicken nuggets and mac and cheese don’t contain a ton of nutrition in them, kids today are unhealthier than ever. In fact, a recent study suggests that childhood obesity has tripled over the course of the last 30 years. And, it isn’t because kids are necessarily eating more. It’s because they’re not eating right. And, that falls on you, as the parent, not on them. Kids are also starting to develop chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer at an alarming rate.
So, how can you help? Well, for starters, save the chicken nuggets and mac and cheese for special occasions (Warning: This will be difficult—trust me!). Rather than allow the kids to dictate what they’re going to eat, put together a list of healthy meals and start serving them. If they don’t like it the first time, try it again in the future, as many children require multiple exposures to food in order to eat it. Additionally, start exercising more yourself and eating right so that it’s easier to promote a healthy lifestyle to your kids. Or, in other words, start realizing that you are in charge of keeping your kids healthy.
It might be difficult. There might be a lot of tears. And, you might look like the bad guy at times. But, if you want your kids to be healthy—and, really, who doesn’t want that?!—you need to start acting like it. Even if it seems like a challenge or a problem right now, it’ll get easier. And, your kids will thank you for it one day.