Everyone is talking about it, as they should be. The signs are everywhere…including up on billboards, warning us. This is a serious issue that we should all be aware of and be thinking and acting on how to fix and prevent. The health of our future is in our hands. The first lady, Michelle Obama, is on a campaign against childhood obesity (http://www.letsmove.gov/learn-facts/epidemic-childhood-obesity). Jamie Oliver with his Food Revolution is trying to help improve the way our children eat at school (http://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/school-food). What can you do? See the tips below. Also, check out the USDA’s website: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/ for guidelines on how to eat healthfully as well as recipes and tips on how to do it on a budget, plus much more.
The photo above is part of the Green Tables Mission from Les Dames d’Escoffier, Atlanta Green Table’s initiative mission is to inspire and promote a community table, whose centerpiece is focused on whole, local, and sustainable food.
One of the Green Tables Programs:
Oakhurst Community Garden Project: Youth come for a cooking lesson with Les Dames d’Escoffier volunteers. Their day begins in the garden harvesting some fresh herbs and produce that can be used. Everyone returns to the kitchen to discuss healthy food preparation techniques. The children are enthralled as they learn the trade secrets of top chefs.
One of the most beautiful parts of the experience is sitting down and eating what has been prepared. Sure enough, the participants munch through the meals they've prepared. But what is most touching is the informal discussion about food preferences and trying new things.
Happy, healthy eating!
Childhood Obesity Tips:
Play: For younger children, don't include the word "workout" in your vocabulary—instead, promote "play time" and encourage activities that are fun and physical such as hop-scotch, jumping rope, tag or hide-and-go-seek.
Screen Time: You are a role model to your child. Try to limit your screen time (TV, computers, cell phone, etc.) as well.
Sleep: Establishing a routine for your child will help balance his or her body's internal clock. Try to have your child go to sleep each evening at the same time, even on weekends.
Holidays: Sometimes, overindulging at the holidays can lead to eating unhealthy all of the time. Try to recognize when your family's holiday eating has become an unhealthy habit.
Eat Fresh: Whole fruits and vegetables are better choices than juice for your family because they include fiber and other benefits that juice lacks.
Doctor/Health: Know your child's BMI (Body Mass Index). This number will help you understand whether he or she is at risk for certain obesity related health problems.
Fast Food: Take "happy" back. Remember, treating your kids to fast food is not the only way to make them happy. Spending time together—whether it's cooking a meal at home or going for a walk—is a surefire way to see some smiles.
Rewards: Never punish a child by withholding food or physical activity. We want to promote these healthy habits, not place negative values on them.
Shop Smart: Be aware -some food manufacturers pay grocery stores to put their products at the eye level of your child, especially in the cereal and checkout aisles.