Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years. More than 20% of 6-11 year olds and over 18% for 12-19 year olds as per the CDC (Center for Disease Control) are considered overweight.
This both shocks and saddens me. If your child is overweight, the sooner you change your habits and theirs the better. Let’s face it, it is easier to grab fast food when you are in a hurry. If you are prepared though, you can better avoid these situations with a bit of advance planning.
One of the best ways you can teach your children is to lead by example. I feel that if I’m trying to educate them, I can better myself and others by practicing what I preach. I am the way I am so my kids should just naturally want to be just like me, right? Not the case. While there are definitely some major similarities, there are also those major differences among us. I have grown to realize that how I eat reflects how I feel, but they haven’t yet put this together. If they had, they likely wouldn’t fight me so much on the suggestions that I make.
Where I can make a difference is in my food choices and my activities. I refuse to let them just sit around and play video games on the computer and their iPods all day. They get plenty of time to do that, but they are also very active in sports, outside play and overall fitness during the week. I would otherwise feel even worse about the chicken nuggets and pizza them consume with such exhausting regularity.
I realize that at some point in time, and hopefully very soon, their palates will change and reflect a more mature taste. Please God sooner than later. My middle daughter, who is 8 years old, is actually very willing to eat curry and Indian spices. She loves it. I am surprised because even when my childhood home had these same smells permeating throughout, I couldn’t have been less interested. Now I use these types of spices frequently. My, how things do change.
In watching me workout, my kids are quite familiar with burpees, tuck jumps and know all about sandbag training and Ugi balls. It’s funny to watch my 3 year old mock me and do his own mountain climbers. He’s actually quite skilled.
Here’s my recipe for home-made chicken fingers. It’s much healthier than fried, mutltiple part chicken nuggets and baked, not fried.
1-2 lbs of organic chicken tenderloins
2-3 cups of wheat germ
1/2 c parmesan
Prepare two separate bowls. One with wet ingredients (egg) the other with the dry mixture.
Have your baking sheet lined with foil and dip each tenderloin first in the egg to coat completely. Then roll and coat in the dry breading. I know, I know, I don’t eat grain but my kids do. Baby steps people.
Once you’ve coated all your strips, bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Serve with a healthy side like a fruit salad or veggies. If you’d like to make a big batch of these, they freeze and reheat great in the oven.
So, get back to basics and get off the couch.