Parents Must Model Good Eating and Exercise Habits for Kids

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How you eat, fitnesscize, and take care of yourself isn't just about you. It's also about the people you love, most especially the tiny humans living in your house watching every move you make...your children. What you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, and how active you are, all translate into childhood behaviors and habits that they bring into adulthood and, as you well know, are tough habits to break as grown-ups.

Our kids are heavier than ever before and suffering adult health problems such as high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. This was nearly unheard of in children 20 years ago. Parents and their children are developing serious obesity related problems and it's not getting any better. Portions at restaurants are getting bigger with more, chemicals, salt and sugar being added to food. There are *kid meals* at every turn with the allure of a toy in the bag of french fries, deep fried chicken "pieces" and a cup of sugar (i.e. soda). Add to this the mighty Kids Eat Free special directed at busy and cash-strapped parents and this translates into a daily barrage against our health and the health of our kids. Eating junk only feels good the moment you're eating it, but the side effects wreak havoc on your mood, energy, motivation and body, not to mention your vital organs. If you can see and feel the effects, imagine what it does to a child?

Luckily, where there is *evil*, there is *good* fighting back! All-natural and organic foods are more available then they've ever been, with entire sections set up in regular grocery stores allowing you to bypass a trip to the more expensive health food stores and giving you the power to *choose*. You just have to decide which side you're on.

The good news is that many of these problems can be controlled or even eliminated through nutrition. That's where you - parents, grandparents, guardians - come in. It's not enough to just tell your kids how to eat, YOU have to be the example. YOU have control at the grocery store. Leave the junk food at the store and buy more fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Mix your own healthful sugar-free yogurt fruit smoothie and forgo a trip for ice-cream. Start teaching your kids that food is fuel, not a perpetual treat. The treats come here and there, not every day, all day. Ask yourself, do you really want them to struggle? Start taking care of *yourself* and frankly, much of the rest will take care of itself.

by Heather Frey,
Founder and President of, Fitness Strategist, Writer, Artist, CPT, National Figure Competitor

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