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Friday, April 4, 2014

Teach your children well


As a parent we always want the best for our children.  We as parents set an example for our children.  They are like little recorders watching our every move and listening to everything we say. They learn at an early age habits that set them up for life time of success or failure.  We as parents pay attention to what they watch on television or listen to on the radio.  We make sure that there friends are not a bad influence on them.  We make sure they know the dangers or drugs and alcohol.  I know for me I worried about all these things when my wife was pregnant with our first child.  I made a checklist in my mind. Make sure they respect there elders.  Make sure we teach them right from wrong.  I wanted to make surei showed them by being an example. I was going to start cleaning up my language.  I even went as far as to quit drinking.  I wanted to make sure that my children didn't fall into the same traps and vices i did as an teenager and adult.  The one thing i never thought about was what they eat.
We need to educate our children about food the same way we educate them about any other addictive vice they may come in contact with.
You see I was around 320 lbs or more when my daughter was born. I ate what i wanted when i wanted to.  It would not be uncommon for me to kill a large pizza and a 2 liter of Pepsi in one sitting.  I would have soda for breakfast with donuts or some sort of fast food.  I had no idea about nutrition or eating healthy.  As far as i knew it was normal to eat what ever i wanted.  As a child growing up we never had limitations on what we could or couldn't eat.  We ate until we were didn't want to eat anymore. See just like any other habit such as alcoholism or drug abuse  I was falling into a cycle.  I was learning my eating habits from my parents.  I don't blame them for being overweight or obese.  I struggled with more demons than just eating pizza lol.  I found comfort in food at an early age.  If I got hurt or didn't feel well mom would make me something or buy get ma treat.  If we were good we were rewarded with candy or an ice cream. Are these bad things to be rewarded with not at all.  the one thing I was never taught was nutrition or portion control.  As my children grew older I noticed they ate what I ate.  So if was having chips they would be eating chips as well.  As i became more educated about nutrition through my lifestyle change i know that it is up to us as parents we also need to teach our kids about portion control and nutritional value in the foods we eat. I am not saying that candy or an occasional trip to Mcdonalds is out of the question but we have to teach them it has to be in moderation.

 I live in Merced County and according to a study done by Ucla Center For Health Policy found that 34.3% of  Merced County residents are obese.  An article in the Merced Sun star stated that it was estimated that 43% of the children are overweight or obese. Things are different now than when i was a kid.  WE could go out at sunrise ride bikes play out front as long as we are home by dark.  In today's society we can't just let our kids run around outside like we use to.  Instead they are inside playing video games or watching TV.  We as parents need to encourage our children to be active.  We have to lead by example.  Get them involved at an early age with sports or other activities that keep them busy.  My daughter is and my son is 4.  They both are in Tball this spring.  My wife and i are already looking into soccer in the fall.