by Brett Klika
I spend quite a bit of time with parents, consulting on how to help their kids eat better, move more, and get fit. To help simplify the process, I’ve created an easy reference chart to provide quick answers to the most common questions. Feel free to keep this “cheat sheet” somewhere easily accessible for quick reference.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CHILD’S NUTRITION
- My kid only eats junk food–Don’t buy junk food
- My kid doesn’t eat breakfast–Start them eating breakfast at a young age.
- My kid only eats fast food–Don’t buy them fast food. Cook food at home.
- The school lunches are unhealthy–Don’t have them eat school lunches. Pack them an almond butter and jelly sandwich, piece of fruit, and yogurt.
- Big food companies put so much sugar in food!–Don’t buy food from big food companies that put so much sugar in food.
- The vending machines at school have junk food!– If you give them money for lunch, find out where it goes. If you don’t want it to go to vending machines, create an expectation.
- It’s someone/something else’s fault that my child eats poorly.– No it’s not.
- Breakfast cereals have so much sugar —Don’t buy high sugar breakfast cereals.
- I don’t want my child to have a complex about food. —Don’t create a complex about food. Discuss the difference between food and “not food”. Allow “not food” as an exception, not the norm.
- I don’t have time/energy to oversee my child’s nutrition. —Buy stock in future diabetes, heart disease, and cancer drugs. With your certain dividends, you can help buy your child the drugs they will need to survive.
- My child won’t………. Do you?
FITNESS PROBLEM and SOLUTION
- My child plays computer games all the time. —Don’t buy them computer games.
- My child won’t go outside and play.– Don’t buy them computer games and make rules about watching TV.
- My child gets bored a lot. —Have a “bored” jar at home with activities and/or chores in it. If they’re bored, have them pick from the jar.
- My child is not good at sports. —Find something physical they like to do and do it with them.
- My child won’t exercise. —Create opportunities for exercise. Find an active program they enjoy (paintball, personal trainer, anything).
- I don’t want to pay to have my child exercise. —There is a tax for not having an active culture of wellness at home. Fitness cost pales in comparison to health care costs.
- My child watches TV. All the time. —Make “rules” about watching TV. “Rules” are enforced guidelines that used to govern the child rearing process.
- My child doesn’t have p.e. in school. —Spearhead a volunteer or “pay to participate” program. Or, you can reinforce physical activity at home.
- My child has “bad genetics”. —Allocate time, energy, and financial resources towards wellness. A truth is a truth. Unhealthy is unhealthy. Address the problem with solutions.
If you sense a “tone” in any of my proposed suggestions, you are very accurate. I can and will no longer stifle my frustration. A third of our kids are unhealthy and are nearly guaranteed to grow up and be unhealthy adults. The financial ramifications of 1/3 of our future population requiring constant medical intervention will bankrupt our nation. That is to not even mention the suffering, pain, and unhappiness surrounding poor health.
Our entitled culture is pointing their finger every which way but inward for nearly every plight we face. Time to get it straight. It’s not the video game, food, government, school, or any other “they” industry that is creating the health issue with our kids.
Our forefathers died on the battlefield so we can have choices as to how we and our families live our lives. We choose to create success or failure in regards to the health and wellness of our families. Looking at the statistics, AT LEAST 1/3 of households are choosing failure. Unfortunately this no longer merely affects those individual households.
Unless they are paying out of pocket for the dramatically increased health care costs surrounding poor lifestyle choices, we all chip in somehow, to the tune of around a trillion dollars. This is impacting our nation so dramatically that we are slowly losing the choices our forefathers fought for.
Constantly pointing the finger is in essence forfeiting our choices in nearly every aspect of our lives. We need to turn that finger around and create success in our own households. It’s not easy. It’s actually really hard. Not like, “work your land, grow your food, build your house, make your clothes, raise your family and protect them from bears like people had to do for centuries” hard, but hard.
It will never be perfect, nor should it be. Kids will eat junk food, watch TV, play video games, and act lazy sometimes. So will we! These need to be the exception, not the rule.
If this has “offended” anyone, I’m not sorry. If you are looking for excuses or outsourcing of accountability, I will never be your guy. Solutions to problems come from facing the truth, not dancing around it. We need to join together in action and not stand by to watch millions of children grow to be unhappy and unhealthy under our watch.
Pass the word. The next time someone points a finger, send them this article. If we can all start to change our concept of accountability, we can change the world.
“Be the change you seek to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi