Did you know that one out of every three children in America is overweight and at risk for diabetes and other health problems? This is a scary fact. Scary, because today’s youth are far less active and have a less healthy diet than our previous generation. Because of this, they are expected to have a shorter lifespan. In this age of information and knowledge, this should not be the case!
Many children in America will most likely follow their family’s eating habits (whether good or bad) and will pass on the same habits to their children. This is why a healthy start for children is incredibly important! Without the correct information and guidance, a generation of fast-food-loving couch potatoes is sadly in our country’s future. We must educate everyone, especially our children, on the harmful effects of an unhealthy diet. We don’t just want our children to avoid eating certain foods; we want them to know why. If you were to hand some candy to one of my little brothers, they would simply give a “no thank you” and perhaps a smile. They realize that there are far better (healthier) options with which to satisfy their sweet tooth.
Even if you personally are struggling with a Big Mac addiction or a craving for some doughnuts, there’s no need to pass these bad habits on. When my dad and mom first became parents, they didn’t have all of the good eating habits that we, their children, now do. My dad was raised on Kool-Aid, and, as a kid, believed that a trip to McDonalds was a great treat. Even after he started what is now a family of 14 healthy children, my dad had occasional cravings for store-bought, sugar-filled, fatty ice cream, and would sneak some every now and then when we were young children. It was an unhealthy habit that he has completely dropped, but the most important thing is that he never let us see him indulge in this bad habit. He wasn’t being a hypocrite; rather, he was protecting his children from going through the same struggles that he was faced with.
So whether you are a new parent or grandparent, or you're simply considering having your own family one day, please think ahead to what kind of life you want your young ones to lead. The kind of life in which they grow up to find out how unhealthy all of the candy and soda was that they had been eating from their youth, and how they must now struggle to overcome? Or a life in which they were brought up knowing the difference between good and bad food from the very beginning. The results of the example you set could be life-changing for them.