It’s summer and summer is FUN! Right? The kids are home from school and you’re probably pulling out all the stops with non-stop crafts, trips to the pool, and glorious harmony in your house . Right? Okay, let’s be serious for a minute. Summer can be hard especially if you have school age kids who are undoubtedly climbing the walls while you stumble, bleary-eyed to the kitchen for some 4 o’clock coffee.
Taking care of kids is hard. Period.
Today’s parents and caregivers have many more challenges raising healthy, fit children than generations before. Some of these challenges include fast food restaurants (with awesome toys in their kids meals) on every corner, easy to prepare packaged foods (with fun cartoon characters smiling as they lure your kids in), kids television programming available 24/7 (I mean who really watches Nick Jr. at 1 a.m.?), and a plethora of gaming systems. We live in a 24/7 environment where we’re constantly on the go, and while we realize it’s not the best way for our families to live, it feels like an overwhelming task to STOP and figure how to change it. So we keep going, keep reaching for those Sponge Bob Square Pants crackers, and we keep turning on the television in our free time, because let’s face it. We are exhausted and need a break!
Most of you come to the Sisterhood because you’re trying to figure out how to take back your health. You know you need to eat right, and you’re putting forth a concerted effort to get fit and shrink, but did you realize that you’ve already taken the first steps to get your family on the right path, too? As a mother (or father, grandaparent, uncle, aunt, caregiver, etc.), you are truly in charge of your children’s destiny, and by setting a good example, you’re already helping them learn to live a healthier life, and just say no to sugar-coated gummy worms.
Let’s look at an alarming statistic from the Centers for Disease Control:
Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%.
A little scary right? What does this mean for your children?
- Overweight children are more likely to be bullied.
- Overweight children are more likely to have bone and joint abnormalities which can lead to an intolerance of exercise, which can then perpetuate future weight problems.
- Being overweight is causing kids to develop adult-sized health problems – including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and liver abnormalities, and obstructive sleep apnea – at an early age.
- Overweight children are more likely to become overweight adults – unless, of course, they change their habits.
Ouch. There’s really nothing funny about that.
As parents, our #1 concern is our children’s health and happiness. We love our kids, without a doubt, and we want them to have a great life. But we struggle finding ways to make sure happiness and health are a reality for our kids. How do we know if our children are overweight? What do we do if they are? How can we find creative ways to get our kids moving? How can we get them to eat the right foods? How can we protect their self-esteem? What changes can we make in our own lives to model the right behaviors for our kids?
Weight Watchers has introduced an amazing book called Eat! Move! Play!, and it comprehensively answers all of those questions and so many more. We’ve spent the past couple of weeks reading, really reading it, and throughout July we’re going to feature lots of ways you can eat right, move, and play with your children. There will be assignments (don’t groan!), lots of kid-friendly recipes, and of course we’ll share our personal experiences as well.
We encourage you to pick up a copy of Eat! Move! Play! and join us this month as we learn how to be the role models the children in our lives deserve!
Weight Watchers provided all of us at the Sisterhood copies of Eat! Move! Play! for the purpose of review. We were not compensated in any way, and as always, our opinions are our own, yo! Also, if you click that link and buy the book through our Amazon store, we’ll earn about $.04. Tell all your friends!