The Flaming Vegan

A Vegan and Vegetarian Blogging Extravaganza

Helping Children to be a Healthy Weight
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Helping Children to be a Healthy Weight

Childhood Obesity is rampant in the United States. Other Western countries share the affliction. It's a heartbreaking, life altering condition that can be remedied with education, and implemetation on the part of the parents. It's a situation that crosses the line of dietary persuasion, less likely in vegans, but sometimes seen none the less. Vegans tend to be more aware of good nutrition than the general population. However, the lifestyle that is most common in Western cultures is the same lifestyle that leaves less time for thoughtful and mindful meal preparation. Quick and fast food is touted as a healthy alternative, when in truth, most of it is full of things we can't even pronounce.

The first step for parents is to remember that they're in charge. When parents claim that their children won't eat heathy, I can't help but look at them in wonder. As parents, we're responsible for our children - their behavior, their diets, their education... The list is pretty extensive. Parents have to own the job of parenting. What food comes into the family home is the parent's choice. They choose to allow the children a choice, or not, and are responsible for vetoing any choice that is not appropriate. Parents are also responsible for educating themselves. It's not always easy to admit that you have no clue what healthy food is. The first step IS to recognize that you don't know.  The second step is to embrace a desire to know what healthy eating is. Once you have the desire, doorways will open and you'll discover ways to educate yourself and your family.

I always suggest to start by cleaning out the pantry and refrigerator of any product that contains ingredients you can't pronounce, or need a degree in chemistry to understand. Next, discover the local Farmer's Markets in your area. Support that farmer! He holds the key to your family's good health. Vegetables and fruits should be the base of everyone's diet: carnbivore, vegetarian or vegan. Find some healthy recipes that are quick and easy. Hummus, eggplant dip, pesto, homemade salad dressiing... Things that taste good and will tempt a palate that is use to excessive sodium and sugar. Usually obese children's sense of taste has been altered. Doing just this much is often the impetus that pushes a family onto the path of healthy eating.

It won't be an easy journey, but the reward at the end is worth it. You'll be giving your children a second chance at a life of good health, and yourself as well.




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