Can We Get Kids to Trade Screens for Greens?
I still can’t get used to watching some kids tune out socially and stare into the screens of devices and TVs for upwards of seven hours per day (7.45 is the national average) while their life expectancy is dropping. These kids are the first in two centuries expected to live a shorter life than their parents. Children need to get out into sunlight to nourish their bodies as well. They’re becoming more obese and experiencing worse health conditions than any other past generation. Gym teachers report that kids have forgotten how, or never learned how to run properly. Combine their poor diet, lack of exercise, excessive screen-time and very little outdoor/natural sunlight-interaction and you have a recipe for obesity and disease.
As an adult, I like to set a good example, so the diet change starts with me first because I feel it’s impossible for others to get inspired or encouraged by someone who is not making healthy choices in their life. I like the saying “be the cause of your own health” because it always has to start from within. As adults and especially as parents, we need to take responsibility no only for our own health, but the health if those in our care. Kids don’t have car keys and debit cards, and until they do, we need to put healthy foods in their mouths from the high chair to high school. No one else is responsible for the health if our own families- not the schools, not the government, not the health care system. These establishments have also shown they are not to be trusted with the responsibility of making decisions regarding our families.
Be Willing to Face the Truth
It’s very scary what is in the food these days and some kids have become so addicted to the sugars, fats and additives that Candida, acidity and other imbalances are already running rampant through their little bodies. I wonder how many parents have tested their kids with a simple home PH test to see how acidic or alkaline their system is. My guess is maybe 1 out of 1000 kids (or even parents) knows what being alkaline is or what living plant-based food even does for the body.
When I was young my grandfather would say “go outside and connect with the world.” I usually couldn’t wait to go play with my friends outside, and sometimes I was content to play by myself. We would use sticks and rocks to make amazingly complex forts and traps to crush the enemies that were invading from the north. I look back now and see how much I was engaged/connected with nature and my imagination. In my opinion many kids are becoming less social in human connections and more social in cyber connections. Both can stimulate the brain but the one without the human contact is becoming too technical and far less human-emotional and socially engaging which leads to an inability to spontaneously interact in a human-to-human social setting. In my observation I find a part of a generation having a hard time expressing themselves and commonly unable to hold an intelligent conversation especially about the future or what they want to create for themselves.
8 Tips to Helping Kids Stay Healthy
- Stop buying any fast food or sodas. They are nothing less than poisonous to your children!
- Limit time spent online each day for both yourself and your children and encourage everyone in the family in their endeavors that involve outdoor activities and social interaction.
- Stop buying and eating frozen meals, canned food or anything that is commercially processed. The longer the shelf life, the shorter your life. Make it a family outing each week to go to the Farmer’s Market or health food store and have fun with trying healthy new foods.
- Throw out anything in your pantry with refined sugar or ingredients you don’t understand. Sugar and other sweeteners are addictive and toxic substances
- Stop eating meat and dairy and turn to a vegan diet for a while to see how you feel. Protein, calcium and Vitamin D are things you should seriously research if you feel your family needs animal products to get these nutrients.
- Start eating more raw whole foods as part of a plant-based diet. Phytonutrients, antioxidants, chorophyll and other micronutrients are what will protect your loved ones from diseases more than anything else.
- Get outside more together and appreciate nature and sunshine to feel connected to the earth and get Vitamin D.
- Learn about health as a family and discuss ways that you can help and encourage each other to make positive changes every day. When you see a family member slipping up, remind them of the how important their health is to you. When you see them making a good choice, tell them how proud you are of them and how it makes you happy when they are healthy.
“Kids can’t stare at a screen and their hands aren’t available to text or play video games when they are building a snowman, splashing in a stream, scaling a rock wall, digging in a garden or climbing trees.”
Carol Torgan, Ph.D., in an article on the The National Wildlife Federation website