We design and deliver solutions for parents, schools, and organizations to improve the health of America's children. Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. is a non-profit organization working to improve health literacy and halt, reverse, and prevent childhood obesity...because failure to protect America's children from obesity-related diseases is not an option. Enjoy WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS!
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
HEALTH TIPS FOR 2013
EVERYWHERE I GO, I talk with parents and grandparents faced
with the harsh reality and knowledge that, somehow, their child or grandchild is not at a
healthy weight. Sometimes the reality
rears its head when your child suddenly refuses to go to school one day. Or when the school principal calls to say
your daughter is in their office crying because someone called her fat.
What I say to you as a parent is the same thing I say to adults who are
told by their doctors that if they do not lose some weight, they will develop
diabetes. If they already have diabetes, without losing some weight, they likely will encounter the reality of its ugly complications such as loss of circulation in
the feet, amputation of toes or a foot, a heart attack, loss of vision, and
more. We know how to prevent diabetes. We can learn how to prevent more weight gain and then make a plan to get to a healthier
You may ask yourself, “Where did all this fat come
from?” or “How did my daughter (or son)
gain all this extra weight?” The answer
is simple: by eating and drinking more
food, drink, and calories than they (and we) need and use. Extra weight does not suddenly appear
overnight. We don’t go to bed 180 pounds
one night and suddenly wake up the next morning weighing 215 pounds. It’s the same way with kids as it is with us
adults. They don’t go to sleep one night
weighing 55 pounds and wake up the next morning weighing 80 pounds.
Woman eating fast food french fries.
We all gain extra weight the same way - one pound at a
time. Five pounds here, three pounds
here, another two pounds here – it adds up over time. Every time you take the kids to McDonalds, it
adds up faster. Check this out: a double quarter pounder with cheese, a large
coke, and a large fries has 1,560 calories (almost a whole day’s worth of
calories), 1280 mg of sodium (more than half of what we should eat in a day),
and a whopping 86 grams of carbs (the sugar in the coke contains “empty” calories with no nutritional value). Go to www.mcdonalds.com
to learn the nutritional value of what your kids eat there.
Children having fun running.
“So, now what do I do to help my children?” You start one day and one week at a time to
make changes. The universal law is that small
changes lead to big results.
Right now, starting
today, the first day of 2013, you can make the decision to make small
changes. This week you start
moving. Take a walk. Don’t assume that your kids are getting
enough exercise in school, because they are not, especially if they live in
Florida. The education leaders in
Florida should be ashamed of themselves for stripping physical education out of
our schools and our children’s health and daily lives (personal opinion). In the county where I live, kids in
elementary school get 30 minutes a day of P.E.
Remember that kids needs 60 minutes a day of P.E. So start moving. Be the example they need. Take a walk every day with your child while
they are on winter break. Play
basketball with them. Jump a rope. Don’t allow them to sit inside all day. Get outside and play. Just for the heck of it. For the health of it. Now.
It takes responsibility to develop new habits. As parents, we are responsible for our
children’s health, for what they eat, for making sure they get exercise every
day, for getting their homework assignments done and turned in, and their
science fair project deadlines met. Take
responsibility for their health. Stay
tuned to this blog for weekly lessons in 2013 you can use at home (and at work) to
improve your children’s health – and your own.
Together, we can lose the extra weight.
To access a Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator for you and your children,
go to www.cdc.gov.
Thanks for taking responsibility.
Nancy Heinrich To order a copy of my new book for parents, NOURISH AND FLOURISH, go to amazon.com now.