We need to pay attention to our kid’s health. They deserve it.
There has been a lot in the news about childhood obesity, chronic disease, and the plain fact we are bringing up “indoor” kids. It drives me crazy when I see my kids laying around or pulling into my cul-de-sac, with every house having kids, and none of them are playing outside. Or when my kids go to birthdays and the food available is all junk. Our kids want to be and feel healthy!
And the truth of it all is beginning to show…
“With the childhood obesity rate tripling in the past 30 years to 1 in 3 children in the United States overweight or obese, books with healthy eating pictures and messages may not be everything, but they’re something.” Read more here.
When Merrin was 3, we were at a Christmas party. There was a ton of food; actually, a good assortment of food too: raw veggies mixed in with nuts and chips. I overlooked Merrin at the food table, but a friend pointed her out to me. Merrin was filling her plate all with veggies. Yes, she was and still is a good eater, but I firmly believe that kids know what foods make them feel good, and they want to feel good, so when presented with good choices, they will pick what makes them feel good.
I genuinely believe that.
Luckily, things are changing. Recently, a friend sent me two articles about how children’s authors are downplaying junk food in books. As most of you know, I have been doing this with Human Body Detectives for years but taking it a deeper foundation – Human Body Detectives teaches kids how their bodies work and what foods best fuel them. Once kids understand how their body works and why eating healthy foods is essential, if we show them how to grow these foods and yummy ways to eat them, they will eat them.
So why not … Add more books about vegetables, fruits, and whole foods – it sure will get kids thinking and entice them to choose healthier foods. I believe we underestimate the power of our kids. They are smart- innately smart – much more tuned in to how foods make them feel. Grabbing a handful of carrots and some hummus is just as easy as grabbing a bag of chips.
I am grateful for the authors who are willing to make changes in what they are writing about. It might be hard to make the shift as the fear of not selling your book holds firm, but every bit helps change the way kids eat.
It’s important, very important.