THE ABCs TO RAISING HAPPY HEALTH CHILDREN

As parents, we undoubtedly want the best for our children. 

We want them to wear the nicest clothes, attend the best schools, be at the top of their classes, and just simply be happy.

But c'mon, let's face it, no matter how hard we try; we are not always going to be 100% on track with our kids. And you know what? That's ok because as our children grow, we do too and we learn just as much if not more- than they do.

Now, if you were going to ask me what I want for my baby girl, my answer would be simple.

I would want my daughter to be healthy and happy.

 I would want her to be as active as possible.

I don't want her eating all that food-like crap on the shelves of every grocery store.

Simple enough, right?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s".

TRIPLED.

While several factors contribute to obesity (genetics, environment, lack of resources), the main cause of obesity is overeating. With the astonishing rise of food like products in today’s world, food addiction has become an unavoidable crisis.

We are hooked on a diet that is wrecking our body chemistry, including our insulin and leptin levels.

These two major hormones are in control of several body functions that relate to a person’s weight including when to eat and when to stop eating. When your insulin levels increase, so does your storage of fat cells. And how exactly is leptin produced?

Yup. By your fat cells.

Bottom line: The more leptin our body produces, the harder it is to stop overeating.

Life is not easy, but our generation certainly has had it easier than the previous one.

Majority of the time, we seldom work hard for what we want, we are obsessed with a technology that has limited the way we perceive and accept knowledge, and we rely on programs to perform some of the simplest tasks for us simply because we are too lazy!

So yes, it’s very difficult to raise a child in today’s society but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. By giving up, you're accepting the drastic change in our food culture that is on its way to becoming a global epidemic.

You can change the world by first changing your own ways.

Teaching your kids to accept a certain lifestyle based on healthy foods and working out will the first step you take into becoming part of the solution.

Don’t know where to start? Here are the ABCs of raising healthy happy children.

 

ALWAYS STAYING ACTIVE

Whether your child is 6 months or 6 years, you both can be active together.

We all lead very busy lives and getting a workout in is usually the last think on anyone's mind BUT what if I told you don’t really have to work out?

Make it a game! Common games such as Simon Says or Red Light Green light with toddlers can be easily transformed into a fun and sweaty workout. When children are still young, it’s easier to get them moving.

By simply asking “Do you want to play a game?” they’ll jump up and respond “What kind of game?”

This will be your cue to show them how fun working out can be.

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BE THEIR ROLE MODEL

Kids look up to their parents (or elders in general) for EVERYTHING. I'm pretty sure you've caught your kid a few times copying what you say or mirroring what you do.

Children tend to mimic those who are close to them and by doing so; they are absorbing and memorizing your every move.

Don’t forget that a child’s brain is like a sponge and according to Maria Montessori of the book The Absorbent Mind, she states:

The child has a different relation to his environment from ours… the child absorbs it.  The things he sees are not just remembered; they form part of his soul.  He incarnates in himself all in the world about him that his eyes see and his ears hear.

Take advantage of your little sponges!

 
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CUT BACK ON PROCESSED GOODS

Has anyone here ever heard of the "5-Ingredient Rule"?  Basically, if an item has more than 5 ingredients on the label, you shouldn't buy it.

Am I a fan of this rule?

Mmh, not really, but I'm not against it, either. There are good intentions behind it, like avoiding overly processed foods and all those added sugars and preservatives.

Be wary because food marketers are crazy good at what they do and they will find a way to fit less than five ingredients on a label, therefore claiming it to be healthy.

People, read your labels.

Do you need to go all crazy and banish sweets and junk food from your home entirely?

You really don’t. I have a bag full of Hershey’s and Chips Ahoy under my bed, and there is no shame in that.

In the end, the best thing you can do is stay in that health range where your children can learn and have a better understanding of what real food looks and tastes.

Stay consistent with your children, and I promise you, your hard work will pay off.