This morning on the way home from dropping Miss Missy off at Pre-K, I heard the First Lady's voice on the Steve Harvey show. Now, I seem to be awe struck by Mrs. Obama, and I think because for the first time, there is a First Lady that I can relate to so well. No, I'm not the professional that she was, but she's a mom like myself who has faced some of the same issues that I have and she is someone who seems completely down to Earth... much like myself! :-)
So my point is, this morning I turned to the Steve Harvey Show on the radio and she was speaking about her campaign "Let's Move" and I had to stop to listen. It's about beating the epidemic of childhood obesity.
Did you know that over the past 30 year obesity has tripled? Do you realize that that means that our children face shorter lifespans than we do?
So, she went on to talk about how in many poverty stricken neighborhoods throughout the United States there isn't even a grocery store for people to shop in. Only "convenience" stores where people are expected to find their meals. I don't know about you, but I haven't walked in any convenience stores in my neighborhood that carry FRESH fruits and vegetables or ANYTHING organic, much less healthy.
But I could be wrong.
She and Steve went on to discuss how important it is that the schools that are kids are attending are giving our children the adequate physical activity they need. All too often, the physical activity that kids are getting at school is the only activity they are receiving in the day. Many working parents and busy families get home and are happy to see the kids go and plop themselves in from of the TV or computer after a busy work day. And the meals that the schools are feeding our kids can often be the only nutritional meal that the kids are getting. Parents are busy and many times fast food places like McDonald's are just easier than fixing a home cooked meal.
So, when I got home, I started thinking about what I am putting into my kids' bodies. I know I haven't been feeding them the most healthy foods. And here is my shame:
Crazy, huh? Yes, these are the snack piled in the kids "snack pantry". As you can see, there are cookies, sugary cereals and drinks, salty crackers and CHIPS Wow do they love CHIPS!
These are the things that they go straight for when they get home from school. These are the snacks they ask for. It's never an apple, a cheese stick or celery. These are the bad things that constantly go into their bodies.
These are the things that I buy for them.
Now, my kids are no where near the obesity level. As a matter of fact, they are all borderline underweight according to their doctor. But that doesn't make it acceptable to feed them in such an unhealthy way.
So things are going to change. The constant access to all of these foods is really going to have to stop. Because although they are not obese, they are being taught unhealthy eating habits that could very well develop into obesity later in life.
Okay, so there is no way I'm gonna go in the cabinets and throw away all the sweets. Uhh, not gonna happen because well, I don't believe in wasting food. There are starving people in the world.
But starting with the next trip to the grocery store, there will be a considerably smaller amount of these types of snacks and a larger amount of the snacks that are so much better for them. I will buy more fruits and veggies. And while I know that I'm about to hear tons of complaining about there being NOTHING TO EAT, I know that eventually they will get use to a healthier lifestyle. They will feel better and I will feel like a better mother.
I hope that more people will start to think about what is going into their children's bodies and the effect it will have on them in the long run. I want my kids to live a long healthy life and knowing how to do that is going to start here and now.
To read more about this and to find out what YOU can do to give your child a healthier lifestyle, log on to LetsMove.org. Give your child a healthy future.
I will check back in a a few weeks to let you all know how the snacks situation is going. Wish me luck!