Well obesity rates among children may have stabilized, according to a recent study. So now we may only have 25 million kids overweight and maybe we'll hold at that number, says a new study - is this a reason to rejoice???...And even though another recent study says kids are eating more fruit snacks, we still have troubling rates of obesity in the kid population. As someone who has worked with hundreds of families for over 20 years I know what parents want. They want someone to wave a magic wand when their child is in crisis and make it all "go away." In this case though, the crisis is in the family and we all have to wake up and realize that healthy habits, just like charity, begin in the home. So what kind of household do you run?
Are you the team captain, modeling exemplary behavior with fruit bins overflowing with succulent choices, and family meals a nightly custom and walks with the kids a daily event? Are your pantry and frig models of office efficiency with clear sectors of food groups and lots of healthy easy-to-grab treats? Do you shop with a list that covers most of your week's needs? Do you involve your family in meal planning, food prep, weekend physical activity choices? Are you in charge and in control or.....do you feel overwhelmed, disorganized and like someone who just grabs and flies by the seat of your pants??
Think about it...would you run your business like that? Do you "wing your budget" or do you have a sense of order and planning to it? To me running the kitchen -the pantry and planning meals is a full time job. To make it easier and more manageable you have to get a system in place. For the system to succeed - it has to be efficient - it has to shave time off your responsibilities - it has to involve teamwork. Every family member has to pitch in and become part of the food and exercise team effort. My kids know I plan meals every Friday night for the next week. They're used to telling me what entrees they want, what foods they want for school lunches, what snacks they want. They know if one of my entrees "bombs" they'll always be tuna or turkey as a back up (no prep necessary) or beans to add to the routine salad they have nightly. They know fruit, veggies, string cheese, fat-free yogurts, healthy cereal will be available for snacks, in addition to a couple of processed treats they can have mixed into the weeks choices. My frig does look a bit like a filing system - milk/dairy/hard boiled eggs in one area, veggies and fruit in the bins, yogurts/puddings/string cheese on one shelf, a cut up salad and fruit salad on another shelf, condiments and small juice boxes in the frig door.
When other kids come to my house they actually comment and say that they love the order and choices in my frig and pantry. Very often, they'll confess that at home a little bit of craziness exists in those kitchen sectors. My response is to tell them to go home and ask their moms if they can organize or help a bit - after all, I think kids should pitch in and help their parents. Along the way, maybe they can team up and create a somewhat healthier environment that will benefit everyone. So what does your pantry and frig look like?? Would it withstand a surprise visit from the HealthGal???
Published On: June 19, 2008