I'm at a loss as to what is going to turn the US obesity rate around. From what I've seen in friends, family and society, fattening food is too easy/tasty and exercise is too hard. I shudder to think what America will look like 100 years from now.
Am I being a negative pessimist? If I see one more 2 year old in a stroller munching on "hot cheetos" my head might explode.
A friend of mine has been watching DS2 for the past two weeks and will be for the next year. It's funny because she feeds him ok foods....sandwiches for lunch, string cheese, goldfish for snack, etc...nothing horrible. BUT I am a huge fruit and veggie server. My kids love it and I give them SO much of it. They get at least one serving of either at every meal.
Also! When DS1 started daycare, I went nuts...in my head haha! Cookies, pretzels, potato chips, canned fruit for lunch, ew. Him too, I would give him mixed veggies for a snack or grapes, or berries, not that junk!
Me (28), DH (30), DS1 - Michael (4) and DS2 - Nathan (1 - severe peanut allergy and an egg allergy)
We have free breakfast every day and that is horrible nutrition. However they can get yogurt or cereal (cherrios, special k ect and my boys usually choose that. They also have fruit as well. Wish I could get the boys to eat more fruit/veggies. Lunch is also not that great but they do offer a fresh fruit/veggie everyday. so that is good. The main dish needs work though. Today is sloppy joes, tommorow hot dogs, they typically have pork tenderloin sandwich, macho nachos, chicken sandwich ect. I think it is such a challenge to actually get the kids to eat it too. I will say although lunch /breakfast isn't wonderful my huge concern is the lack of recess/physical ed. The school lunches are a lot like what I grew up with but we had tons more PE and recess time. When I pack lunch I put fruit, natural pb& j on wheat, granola bar, applesauce or apple , string cheese and water bottle ...and on one day they get juice as a treat.
Not surprised. Schools aren't problem, parents are. Children eat what their parents eat with 60% of American adults overweight, it stands to reason that their children are will be overweight. The focus needs to be on getting the parents onboard with good eating choices themselves. I just shake my head at parents that make their kids "eat healthy" but they then turn around and do quite the opposite. Do you really think your kids aren't going to figure it out? What kind of message does that send? Parents need to walk the walk.
With that said, schools have no business with selling junk food to kids. But the junk food lobby begs to differ.
BTW- Haylen don't forget that 2 yr old is washing those Cheetos down with a soda or apple juice.
My daughter isn't in school yet, but from friends and co-workers experiences and complaints I have to say I think the problem is more a physical activity thing when it comes to schools. And bad eating habbits at HOME. Growing up we ate square dinners and breakfast, school lunch, but I had recess twice a day and played outside with my brothers all day everyday on school vacations. I also ate candy, ice cream, drank koolaid (2 cups of sugar in koolaid people!!). I was never overweight and neither were my two brothers. Activity is key!!!
I'm not surprised by the article. By middle school kids junk food habits and sedentary lifestyle are well formed, so its not shocking to me that there woudln't be a difference in weight. Not many are just introduced to junk food and lying around in middle school.
I agree that activity is the key. When I was a kid, no one was overweight and we ate all kinds of unhealthy options (We always either had koolaid 'drink' or soda with dinner). But we also got 3 normal portioned meals a day, at least one of which was a home cooked meal. Today, people are too 'busy' and/or lazy to cook a proper meal for their kids. Also, healthy options are ridiculously expensive, but people would rather buy their kids every it toy and gadget and designer clothing rather than spending the money on healthy, more expensive food.
Plus portion sizes are out of control , making it more diffcult for some to figure out what they should have. And the lack of physical activity is appalling - does anyone even walk anywhere anymore? Kids not getting recess is so illogical! What stressed out, over achieving, nut htought that was a bright idea?
I don't know that I fully agree that parents have to totally walk the walk- everyone should try to be as healthy as possible, but when I was a child, we were taught that adults and children are not the same, adults can do things that childen cannot and if your parents tell you to do something, you do it. Too many parents today feel that they have to be perfect and/or appease their kids instead of parent them. Being a parent means you're an adult, you get to stay up late, drink and eat what you want, if you choose, watch what you like on tv, but it doesn't mean that your kid has to as well. It gives a child something to look forward to!
In my opinion, people are getting fatter becuse its the easy way out and we as a nation don't like to work too hard or look too closely at any real problem when a quick fix exists.
Yes children and adults are different but parents need to lead by example. We are raising adults not children and we need to help lead them to make good decisions as adults. This is no different in other aspects of life. Children with parents who are readers become readers, children with parents who regularly exercise will exercise and so forth. The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. So if we want to try to stem the tide of obesity then we must look to the parent to change. It is like on an airplane, parents put your mask on first and then assist the child.
The other thing that we must focus on is that real whole food is expensive and often not found in inner city food deserts. Fast/junk food are cheap and plentiful.
I'm not surprised by the report either. The issue is really the parents, because they don't teach good eating habits. My 5 year old DS goes to Pre-K, where the parents are expected to provide community snacks. We can't send anything in that is not pre-packaged, BUT, the number of bags of mini cookies and juice boxes that get sent in is very frustrating. I'm not against giving DS treats, but I don't think having cookies every day is a good way to instill good eating habits. I wish we could just send in a bag of apples, but we aren't allowed to do that, so we've taken to sending in fruit cups.
I think one of the other issues is the trend towards using coupons for saving money. How many times do you see a coupon for a head of lettuce or a bag of grapes? My BFF is a "couponer," and I'm always frustrated to see the pictures she posts of her deals - TONS of unhealthy processed foods, sugary juices and sodas, and NO fruit or vegetables (and she complains that her 6 year old won't eat healthy stuff - I wonder why?).
Haylen, you aren't being a pessimist. I agree with you, but I don't know what to do about it either, except that we can teach our children, and hope it rubs off on other parents.
I'm a 'couponer' too Patty. I assure you that there are fruit and veggie coupons out there, but they are harder to find. Also the $$ I save on things such as diapers, shampoo, etc. with my coupons goes towards fruit and veggies. My children eat a fresh fruit and veggie with every meal. I don't buy juice or sodas. My children take their lunches because of the unhealthy options; I send water to drink and they think yogurt is a dessert.
But I agree, the extreme couponing show has glamorized processed foods. However, coupons are not the problem. People were fat long before coupons made their comeback.
We do order the occassional Papa John's pizza and even stop at the Golden Arches from time to time. But we treat it as what it is, a treat and not the norm. Typically we eat at home, even when it's not convenient.
My children also see me suit up and go for a run 3-5xs a week. Ava talks about how she can't wait to get fast enough to run with me. IMO, children imitate their parents. Even when we don't realize it, they are watching us.
Rambling now...but I too shudder to think of the obesity rate and even worse the death rate in 100 years.
Im not surprized by this either. Remembering back to middle and high school, kids took advantage of the unhealthy options. But far fewer were overweight. They participated in team sports, gym, band.
Im not to say Im perfect. I buy McDonalds and pizza. But not on a regular basis. And if I don't have time to cook a meal at home, we have a healthy alternative. Turkey on wheat, tomato soup. Not doritos and coke.
DD is in preschool and their menu is a little disturbing. Nearly everything for breakfast is prepackaged: waffles, pancakes, fruit bars. They do make oatmeal and cream of wheat on occasion but are still not as frequent as some of the others. And lunch provides something from all the food groups, protien, carbs, fruit, veggies. But not are actually fresh. Snacks are a carbo load all the time with juice.
Now don't get me wrong, I buy juice and soda and chips and crackers. But they are health(er) and not an every day item on the menu. When DD has a party at school, Im the mom that signs up for the fruit or veggie tray. And most of the time they eat it all! Kids will eat what the adults provide. So we need to watch out for out childs well being and set healthy eating habits at a young age.
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