“I don’t want Brussels sprouts, Mommy! Can I have a cookie with ice cream on top?”Sound familiar? It’s frightful to say, but we are living in a junk food generation and many of our children don’t eat enough of their fruits and vegetables.
Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled and almost one in every three children in our nation is overweight or obese, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. We’re all busy juggling home, work and family life and it's a challenge to focus on the basic principles of healthy eating. How can we practice the balance between healthy food choices and keeping it fun for our kids?
Apart from the obvious — replacing junk foods with healthy options and exercising regularly — I was interested to learn from Glen Rock’s very own Integrative Health & Nutrition Coach, Waltraud Unger.
She gave me an insight into how we can provide healthy food choices for our kids but while keeping it fun for the whole family.
“Explore new foods and cook together as a family," Unger said. "Children are more willing to eat something that they helped prepare. In my workshops I teach children a lot about the food we are preparing: How it is grown, why we eat it and alternative dishes you can make from it. They get a chance to roll up their sleeves and get messy with food. My motto is: 'I am learning to like it,' instead of: 'Yuck….I don’t like that.'"
Since the beginning of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation, individuals and organizations around the U.S. have developed new solutions and programs. Launched early last year, Let’s Move! begins with kid’s at an early age, aims to provide parents with information to make healthy choices for families, provides healthier food options in schools and ensures that every family has access to healthy, affordable food, helping kids become more physically active.
“Over the last year we’ve fundamentally changed the conversation about how we eat, how we move and how we get our food. Communities across the country, like New York City are implementing creative solutions to ending childhood obesity,” said Obama on the Let's Move! website.
Health Coaching, like Unger offers right here in Glen Rock, is just one of many options to innovate health and nutrition. For further information on the holistic approach contact Waltraud Unger via email Waltraud@UnfoldingU.com or call 201-925-5985. To learn more about the Let’s Move! initiative or download action plans for communities, schools and parents, go to www.letsmove.gov.
http://glenrock.patch.com/articles/beating-our-junk-food-generation-tips-from-a-local-expert Weaning kids off junk food
February 16, 2011
Kids used to a steady diet of sugar and fat can change - and the good news is that parents can help make the switch less painful.
"It's about balance," says Babs Benson, who directs the Healthy You weight management program in Norfolk, Virgina. "Frequency and quantity are key."
- Emphasise moderation. Offer junk food occasionally - not daily - and keep portion sizes as small as possible.
- Educate kids. Explain that you're making a change not to punish them but to help them be stronger and smarter.
- Continually introduce healthier snacks. Instead of Tim Tams, offer sweetness in the form of a piece of fruit or small boxes of raisins. Try fun shapes - like celery stalks with peanut butter and raisins, aka "ants-on-a-log" - and healthy dips such as hummus.
- Make homemade versions of favourites. Create pizzas with whole-wheat muffins, tomato sauce and low-fat mozzarella cheese, or cook hot chips by spraying potato wedges with olive oil, sprinkling on salt and baking at 200 degrees for about 15...