Have you ever spoon fed a child that is fussy?
While many parents are struggling to keep their weight in check and prevent chronic diseases, their kids are struggling as well.
We bring the kids into the world thinking they will be energetic and fit because they are young. We hope that the movement and socialization of sports and activities will give them the skill acquisition and self esteem they need. The reality is that even the best-intentioned parents are dealing with kids that are not adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours and the toll that this takes on our society is growing.
Kids are spending increasingly more time sitting, eating “unhealthy food”, and suffering from depression, stress and anxiety. Estimates forecast that, by 2040, roughly 70 per cent of adults over 40 (today’s youth) will be overweight or obese. This puts them at risk for heart disease, some cancers, and chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes.
As I’m always trying to keep up with what produces results, I tell myself that perhaps people just don’t know because they have not been exposed to the knowledge they need. StrongFirst Master Instructor Pavel Macek caught my ear when I read in one of his Instagram posts, “Knowledge is power. Knowledge shared is power multiplied.” I like this concept very much and hope to continue to share my passion for sharing with the utmost credibility by a never ending desire to keep learning!
Then I hear how people can’t afford healthy food or to join a gym, or they have no time to cook healthy meals. They lack the desire to prioritize their health. In my opinion nothing should come before feeding yourself and your family real whole food. We are raising a new generation of kids who statistically will be obese. As well, they will have more movement and posture issues than their parents which can result in pain, chronic pain, and add to our already growing statistics on depression. We can’t turn a blind eye to helping the kids. We created them and we are part of the problem.
How did this happen? If we try to reverse engineer this I’m sure we will find more than one contributing factor. I think this is a good time to say that most people don’t mean to contribute to the problem. In fact you are a nice person and you are doing the best you can within your circumstances …but if the outcomes are not changing we should be paying attention to more of the factors.
Factor One: Have you ever spoon fed a child that is fussy?
The book Born to Eat by Leslie Schilling and Wendy Jo Peterson proposes a plan for a new way to introduce foods to our infants. “Those infants that resist spoon feeding are not being difficult, in fact they are following their instincts and displaying normal behavior,” quotes Schilling. This book is a must-read for parents who want to set their children up with the trust and confidence needed for healthy lifelong eating habits. I think this is a great idea and there’s nothing like starting at the beginning to improve the issues.
Factor Two: We live in a culture of Judgement and Comparison
Judgment and Comparison will send less than positive messages to your head and heart unless you develop a personal set of strategies to filter them. Many parents are unaware of the impact of their own eating behaviours and comments. They may also be equally unaware of what to do or how to change and improve their own mindset.
I came across some images on Instagram from Body Positive Mom that resonated with me. It’s not just the Moms who are role modeling to the kids, it’s pretty much everyone they have contact with.
Factor Three: The Diet Mold
Many of us grew up in an era when dieting was recommended by health professionals and it was considered good advice and healthy. We now know better and in-fact can say that dieting is a predictor of becoming overweight and a risk factor for developing binge eating disorder.
Our diet culture has been putting too much emphasis on the numbers like calories and macros versus actual food quality. Too much emphasis on tracking the numbers as well has also led many to overthink and obsess about their food intake.
We lived successfully before there were food tracking and dieting “apps.” There is a danger in using these apps, and they are actually a form of dieting and in my experience take up way too much time and effort. The results are in on using tracking apps so please discourage all kids from using them.
Hire a professional, read some books, and refocus your priorities. Give yourself the time and patience to prepare and plan for changing away from the Diet Mold mentality. Your behaviors come from your feelings and your feelings come from a lot of history from your upbringing forming your self concept. We can control many things in our lives but we can’t control what happened to us as kids – because we were KIDS! Our inability to cope continues to show us areas in which we can spend time in to resolve and come to terms with. Use your time wisely so you can break through not only the Diet Mold but all the other strongholds that are holding you back from being your best self.
#1 Watch what you say to others and yourself. Your comments are heard and can have a huge impact.
#2 Plan what you eat and eat what you feed the kids and grandkids! It’s not ok to feed the kids the sugar and not yourself. Think about what this is really saying.
#3 Be present and purposeful with food. What you chew is up to you (Another idea from Born To Eat) …it’s you who puts the fork and hand to your mouth. It’s you who brings “it” into the home. You decide when, where and what is offered to the kids but your responsibility stops there. Let the kids decide what and how much to eat. Drop the “finish your plate” and “eat your vegetables” comments.
#4 Boost your nutrition by adding in colour and flavour with your protein, fats, and unprocessed carbohydrates. A “diet” is restrictive in nature so move away from that word and way of thinking. Build out tasty, satisfying meals that are nutritionally relevant for you and yours.
Factor Four: Kids are not Moving Enough
We have subjected the kids to an electronic environment with computers and cell phones that draws them into forward head posture and spinal flexion. These positions change posture and over time the new posture becomes their habit. So not only do the kids face a life of postural compensations that compromise their ability to move well, the time spent on the electronics is spent sitting. Sitting steals time from movement that their growing body, mind and soul needs for wellness, potentially leaving them with a huge calorie surplus resulting in body composition issues.
#1 Strength train and get role modeling for the kids and grandkids. Yes strength training is safe for kids and it has been well researched!
#2 Become part of a change and get on board for moving our kids. We know how to train, improve posture, prevent injuries, and we need to PUSH this very important issue to the forefront of our society. Not just here in Vancouver but around the world.
#3 Approach teachers with the Turkish Get Up Project.
In a small way the team at it’s time! is going to remove the barrier of cost for anyone under 14 years of age and we hope to fill the gym with kids that want to join our “Posture and Play” classes.
Free Class – Posture and Play: Kids 14 and under*, 4- 5 pm – Sundays – starts Oct 20th, 2019.
*A waiver needs to be signed so please do not just drop your child. Thank you.
Inform, Instruct, Inspire @ it’s time! Fitness Results
Written by: Sheila Hamilton Copyright September 2019
Body Positive Mom: Use discount: ITSTIMEFITNESS is promo code to use if interested in learning more!
Born to Eat: Leslie Schilling and Wendy Jo Peterson Copyright 2017 (1:p.25)
Pavel Macek: Instagram Strongfirst Master Instructor @pavelmacekcom
From U.S.News & World Report: https://health.usnews.com/wellness/for-parents/articles/diet-apps-are-putting-kids-at-risk