Reaching Kids Starts with Teaching Parents

My youngest child recently left for college. Yes, ‘sob, sigh, sob’. However, the reality is that we raise our kids to be independent and positive contributors to society, right? So, I suppose it should be a celebratory time vs. a time of mourning. I’ll work on that.

As a fitness professional I have always tried to teach my kids about healthy living vs. preaching healthy living. It seems that approach just might be working. My daughter came home this holiday weekend surprised by the number of unhealthy eating patterns kids at her school have. She said her biggest struggle is finding someone to eat breakfast with because no one eats breakfast. She’s also amazed at the number of kids that opt for the junk food versus the healthy options that are available. Granted, she likes pizza as much as the other guy or gal, but not for 3 meals a day, 7 days a week.

Look, I’m not an idiot, I get the fact that for some of these kids being out on their own for the first time is like winning the Lottery. Part of that “freedom” is making their own choices, vs. someone making choices for them. But as I thought about the conversation with my daughter, it made me think about how many adults are still in the dark about what constitutes healthy eating. Further, many adults are unaware the influence they have on their kids choices about nutrition and exercise.

Many pantry’s are still filled with “100-calorie snack bags” or “Fat-free cookies” none of which offer a whole lot in the way of nutrition, much less satiety. Many families are still opting for fast food vs. cooking at home. Many adults still remain inactive and the collection of these unhealthy habits sets the tone for their kids or other kids they many influence.

So from one parent to another, one adult to another, uncle, aunt, neighbor, teacher, when it comes to your health,

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