Yes, Virginia, You Can Get Fat!
Do you talk about the potential to be "fat" with your kids? Do you find the subject taboo and fear that you will provoke eating disorders in your children if you talk to them about the potential to become fat if they don't make good food choices and stay active?
I'm not talking about calling yourself fat or pointing out others who are obese. I'm talking about educating your children about the potential to become an unhealthy, unhappy, exhausted, sick, and obese person if they do not make good food choices and stay active.
When I Grow Up I Want To Be Fat!
It's not just about appearance (although, I've never heard anyone say "When I grow up I want to be FAT!". Have you?). There are health issues at stake as well. Sure we want our children to be healthy and to be happy with their appearance but the issue is larger than this.
Children need to be educated about the consequences of their food choices and lack of activity. With childhood and adult obesity skyrocketing in the United States we, as parents, have an obligation to educate our children! Don't even get me started about the potential medical issues and health care costs that come with being obese!
Am I Instilling Eating Disorders in My Children?
Some (well many) people will not be okay with this topic. They will think that I am instilling eating disorders in my children at an early age. Nope. I am teaching them. They need to hear that eating a cupcake and sitting on their butt watching hours of TV will make them fat. They need to be taught to exercise and make healthy food choices. They need to know that sugar is addictive, it rots your teeth, and it makes you fat and sick. We must teach our children these facts if we want them to know them. It's no different than teaching them that if they stick a paperclip in an electrical outlet they may get shocked. If we don't teach them, they won't know.
Don't Be a Lazy Parent
It is our responsibility to our children to teach them these things and raise up well rounded, balanced, healthy and fit kids who will turn into well rounded, balanced, healthy, and fit adults.
So, how do you approach this topic with your children?
- Lead by example. Let your children see you making healthy food choices. Let your children see you working out and staying active.
- Don't be a lazy parent. It's easy to stick your kid in front of the TV with a bag of deep fried garbage from the closest fast food joint. Don't do it! Cook nutritious meals for them. Get them involved in the cooking process. Don't just plop them in front of the TV while you cook.
- Educate your children. Talk to them. Explain why our bodies need nutritious foods. Explain why our bodies need physical activity. Explain the health issues that come with being obese.
- Feed them healthy foods but allow them to splurge occasionally. Allow them to have an Oreo after dinner. Allow them to have a piece of cake at a birthday party. Allow them to have chips occasionally (but put them in a small bowl...don't let them eat from the bag).
- Keep them active. Enroll them in a kid fit class. Enroll them in gymnastics, dance, soccer, football, baseball or any other activity that will get them moving.
- Turn off the damn TV! Kids eat more when they are sitting around watching TV. Limit TV time to 30 minutes a day and don't allow any eating in front of the TV.
Have I Made you Mad?
What do you think? Do you feel you should discuss the potential of becoming "fat" with your children? Do you feel that this topic should be avoided? Did I totally piss you off with this post? I want to hear from you! Comment below and let me know what you think!