Creating a Healthy Lifestyle for our Children Pt. 1

Stay tuned for more in our Titus 2 Single Women series, but for the next couple of days we are going to glean wisdom from another one of our contributors…

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Today our children are at risk.  Some of them are overweight.  The bad news is overweight children can grow into obese adults and carry with them a higher risk for coronary disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and self-image problems.

The good news is the risk is lessened with a change of behavior.  It’s up to parents—not the government–to provide their families with the information they need to promote a healthy lifestyle.  “Ninety-nine percent of us are born healthy and are made sick as a result of personal misbehavior or environmental conditions.  The ability to lengthen one’s life depends first on the capacity not to shorten it.”  (Dr. John Knowles of the Rockefeller Foundation)

Crash diets aren’t the answer. The focus must be on health–not just on losing weight.  Plenty of exercise and nutritious foods all contribute to the health of our children.

Get moving

Kids have reasons for not getting up and moving their bodies. Computers, the internet, television, and video games offer them distractions. They don’t play as much anymore—inside or outside—on a regular basis.  Who needs to play outside when your social life is wrapped up on Facebook?

The average American child watches TV for 28 hours per week.  By the time that child is a senior in high school, he has spent three years of his life watching TV. What do they have to show for it?

Did you know that 40% of boys can’t touch their toes and that girls run slower than they did ten years ago?  Kids have to get moving.  They do that through exercise.

Exercise reduces body fat by burning calories and revs up the metabolism to keep the burn going.  What can kids do for exercise?  They can ride bikes, run around the yard playing tag, chase the dog, roller skate, have fun exploring with their friends.  Or they can participate in community sports like soccer, baseball, basketball or any of the martial arts.  Schedule those activities into their day. Parents, you can set the example for your kids by getting active too.  Park the car farther away and walk. Toss a ball with your children.  Get involved with a local tae-kwon-do class or coach soccer.

 

Our Kids Become What They Eat (Don’t We All?)

The Skinny on Fat

 

Fat is necessary for the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K.  That’s good.  Fat also supplies more than twice the energy as the same amount of protein or carbohydrate—all elements of healthy food.  This is important for children, especially those under two years of age.  They need higher energy from fat to meet increased growth demands.

Fat is rich in calories and the extra calories, if not used, the body stores and 3,500 extra calories create one pound of body fat.  Over a period of time, it all adds up. Watch out for fat-free foods because they don’t mean “calorie-free”.  They supply extra, empty calories—food that is nutrient-starved.

Since fat digests slowly, it provides a feeling of satisfaction after a meal.  There is nothing wrong with dietary fat—in the proper amount. Most often, we consume too much fat—between 800 to 1000 calories (which is equal to one stick of butter) a day.  The average family consumes 400 pounds of fat per year!

Fatty foods our kids eat are hamburgers, cheeseburgers, meat loaf, hot dogs, ham, processed luncheon meats, whole milk, ice cream, cheese and other whole-milk dairy products.  Commercially baked goods and fried foods such as fried chicken and the favorite standby, French fries, often load up our kids with fat they don’t need.

Tomorrow we will talk about our sodium and sugar content, as well as how to change over to more healthy eating habits with our children.

(Jenny’s Note: I have been fascinated by this concept lately about good and bad fats in our diet.  Contrary to popular opinion the healthy fats are so important for us and our children, their developing brains and our overall well being.  So have fun and don’t feel any guilt about liberally adding in your olive oil, coconut oil, avacado, nuts, and butter!  But, sorry the McDonalds french fries don’t even begin to be in that catagory! 🙂 )

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Crystal Blanchard lives in east Texas with her husband, Greg, and three young adult children. She’s been a mom to many (ten to be exact) and has home educated most of them since 1980. She has turned her wellness consultation practice into a research and writing project to help answer questions about health. We are wonderfully knit together by a loving, compassionate Creator. He is the source for our well-being and we are foolish to trust in anyone other than the Lord first when seeking counsel and wisdom in matters of health. Crystal navigates the labyrinth of health issues to help others (especially her own family) along the way of life. She gives us articles to encourage us in our high calling regarding health and nutrition.

 

 

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