My dietary transformation has been a very personal journey for me and has not been adopted entirely by my immediate family. For example, just because I genuinely believe that humans are not designed to consume another animal’s milk (especially throughout the course of their lifetime), I have NOT imposed a household ban on dairy products. Meanwhile, I would argue that some of my dietary habits have rubbed off on my family. Although she wouldn’t admit it, I’m suspicious that my wife gave up bread as a New Year’s resolution. And while my daughters (ages 6 & 3) have an extremely varied diet, I definitely think they eat healthier than average compared to other children their age. (i.e. they both had second helpings of broccoli and green beans at dinner tonight).
Speaking of my children…while I try to maintain a very positive and accepting attitude, it is often challenging for me to succumb to the pressures of allowing my kids to indulge at any given opportunity (i.e. dessert after dinner, birthday cake with friends, ice cream with their cousins, etc). I absolutely do NOT want to rob them of their childhood. Meanwhile, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, is projected that nearly 40% of all females born in the 21st century will get Type 2 Diabetes in their lifetime. And Diabetes has reached such epidemic proportions that people are being diagnosed at shockingly young ages these days. This is a frightening statistic to accept, especially when I see the extreme focus on SUGAR at nearly every children’s function. So while I do not impose heavy restrictions on what my kids eat, I firmly believe that since the dietary “trajectory” of my children is formed in my household, it is my personal responsibility to teach them about making good choices.
It is for this very reason that I have started KIDS FIT CLUB in 2014. My 6-year-old daughter and two of her close friends have agreed to participate in a once-monthly activity, led by me, that is focused on EXERCISE and FOOD. It will be a “healthy playdate” of sorts. The first half will be dedicated to doing some type of exercise (i.e. yoga, hiking, etc) and the second half will be spent making a snack together (i.e. fruit smoothie, veggies with hummus, etc). During these sessions, we can discuss the daily choices we make and how they affect our growth, development and overall health. Because this will undoubtedly be a FUN activity amongst friends, my hope is that it will be a very positive and influential experience for the kids….perhaps so much so, that the group can eventually increase in size and benefit even more children.
If you are interested in doing something similar, feel free to reach out to me in a few months. I am more than happy to share any feedback and/or best practices.
Happy New Year!