I get so frustrated every time I read about the American Childhood Obesity rates doubling in children and tripling in adolescents in the past 30 years and that the current generation of children is not expected to outlive their parents due to childhood obesity. As an American mother, it saddens and disappoints me that we do not take the time to make our family’s wellness the #1 priority. Instead, it has become the last priority after work, housework, laundry, hair, nails, shopping, etc… I get sucked into this unhealthy priority list too – so I get it! But, it’s serious and it comes down to life or death for all of us and our kids!
Let’s stop the insanity! Join me now in taking some baby steps in creating a nutritious family lifestyle. Here are 4 simple things that we can do now. And they are all easy and inexpensive:
1. Replace with Water
- Take away ONE juice, coffee, soda, or sports drink and replace with water every day.
- Try 50% juice with 50% water and naturally decrease the amount of sugar your kids take in every day.
- Add real fruits such as oranges, strawberries, lemons, and raspberries to your water for some zest.
2. Focus on Food
- Take a free-guided tour at your local Whole Foods Market and get educated!
- Get access to fresh produce by joining a community garden or starting a backyard garden.
- Local, organic farms have become more abundant across the US. Find a local farm, ask for a tour, and volunteer with your kids.
3. Get Back to Basics!
Fruits, veggies, meats and seafood – bake, barbecue, grill, broil, steam or eat them raw, when appropriate!
4. Get Outside.
Whatever the season, let’s get the family outside. Appreciate nature and the outdoors by going on a walk, hike, bicycle ride or just play a game of tag! This doesn’t cost money; it just requires us to reprioritize our family’s time.
Keep it simple, make it a slow transition, and have fun. These tips will slowly lead us to a more nutritious lifestyle and help unravel our unhealthy habits.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear about how American families proactively took a stand to decrease childhood obesity and succeeded? Can’t wait, but, in the meantime, take on the challenge with your own family and savor the journey!
JENNIFER ROSS is Creator & Marketing Strategist of HeartBeet Cafe. While Jen’s successful corporate background was in marketing, relationship & event strategy, her true passion lies in educating kids and families about leading healthy and fit lifestyles. Her transition from a 16-year career in Manhattan to a home-based entrepreneurial career, has afforded her several opportunities including the development of community-based fitness and nutrition initiatives along with the creation of Active on Long Island TV segments that were featured on the My Long Island TV Show (mylitv.com) on Verizon FiOS1. Jen’s primary endeavor and passion, HeartBeet Café, focuses on teaching elementary students how to make healthier and more nutritious food choices and prepares and delivers healthier lunch options for both kids and adults.