The months of September and October are my favorite times of the year. It’s a distinct change in seasons – from sizzling hot temperatures to the most dazzling of colors of leaves changing and shedding, marking the beginning of Autumn and winter seasons.
The month of September brings about a lot of health observances such as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, National Sickle Cell Month, National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and many, many others.
Childhood obesity as we all know is still a huge problem, especially in this country, but at the same time, hungry children around the world is also a real problem. We as parents really need to empower ourselves as well as our children on both of these issues, especially childhood obesity as that can be controlled by us!
Technology is one of the many triggers for childhood obesity. Technology is in every facet of our lives – in schools, at work, at home, – but a lot (not all) of the generation of youngsters born in the late 1970’s, 1980’s and early 1990s having children now think all of this ‘new age technology’ is so great and so awesome for their children. They seem to have forgotten (or never really listened to their parents) how participating in simple outdoor activities will cut down on obesity! Spending hours and hours on their smart phones, iPads, computers, etc. along with eating quick, ready-to-eat foods are just a couple of the many causes for childhood obesity.
Getting ‘back to the basics’ is so simple and a lot of times free!! As I have started back on my continuous journey of better health by walking again, I have observed a few parents having their children with them on the walking trails. At least once a week, I will go to the Stone Mountain Park in Stone Mountain, Georgia and walk; walking the walking trail and upwards onto the top of the mountain – all for free!! I want to begin seeing a lot more of people of color and single parents getting out with your children by involving them (and yourselves) in physical education and exercising and eating better. Stop making the excuse of I don’t have time or wanting someone else to take care of your children!! Empower yourself as a parent to observe what your children eat at school. If your school has not taken part in the healthier eating initiatives like a lot of schools now do, you and other parents can come together and begin the process of making those necessary changes for your local schools so that they too can become a part of the healthier eating initiative. These are your children you birthed and you and only you are responsible for them. A lot of people are still making the excuse that ‘I can’t cook’ or ‘it’s too expensive.’ Many are still receiving food assistance from the government – take that (while you still get them as a lot of states are beginning to cut out that assistance) and instead of buying unhealthy packaged foods, get ideas from your loved ones, friends, and the thousands of free, online recipes and teach yourself how to cook and cook healthy. As you begin to make these changes in your lives, you will also see remarkable, yet healthier changes in your children’s lives.
Seasons change, so can we!!