Our country is in the middle of a national health crisis. It was once easy for a child to decide to go outside and play with their friends. Instead everything has taken over that simple playtime from iPods, TV, chat rooms and the Wii; playtime is now at their fingertips. This is one of the many reasons why one in three children are overweight.
It’s time for parents to wake up and start a healthy lifestyle, which is why First Lady Michelle Obama created a campaign called, “Let’s Move!”
Obama’s website explains, “Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. If we don’t solve this problem, one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. Many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma.”
Scared? Is that what you want for your children? However, exercise isn’t the only thing that is making our children be unhealthy. The media are targeting children, convincing them at a young age to eat unhealthy foods, and we as parents let them watch it.
On top of all that, children are being fed unhealthy foods in schools, when their school lunch may be the only full meal they get in one day. One wake-up call is that pink slime is being fed to schoolchildren all over the country, when fast food places like McDonald’s say the meat isn’t good enough for them. If it’s not good for fast food restaurants, it can’t be good for our children. According to the New York Times pink slime is, “glut of fat, connective tissue and other once largely unsaleable remnants, the company’s founder developed a process that turned those slaughterhouse trimmings, which were more prone to contamination with E. coli and salmonella, into desirable (to hamburger-makers) filler by compressing them and exposing them to ammonia gas, killing the pathogens.”
Schools will be allowed to choose whether or not they want pink slime to be in children’s lunches or not. What will they choose and what are we doing to about childhood obesity?
It’s time for parents to step up and watch how much their children are watching TV. It’s time for parents to feed their children healthy food and make healthy choices themselves. It’s time to start taking them to the park again and it’s time for the communities to make those parks safe. It’s time for schools to feed your children healthy meals. The time is now and it’s never too late to start.
Some resources for you to consider:
-Rachel Ray’s Yum-O site has a recipe creator that categorizes recipes according to your child’s age group and what they like to eat.
-Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move site has simple tips for parents to consider on how to keep their children healthy.
-Five ways to exercise with your children from About.com.
-Start by reading the President’s challenge and make your own family plan to workout.
Remember, any steps that you make toward helping your children be healthy, will help them over a lifetime and can have a huge effect on their future. Healthy choices lead to healthy lives.