We are growing ever more conscious about what we are doing to our bodies – how we eat, the way we move, the way we don’t. We all want to improve our health, reduce our risk of disease and create longevity for our future. The problem is so many of us don’t know where to start. We are struggling to create these healthy habits for ourselves but particularly for our children.
Did you know that the number of children in Australia who are overweight has more than doubled in recent years?
The stats show that 1 in 5 Aussie kids are either overweight or obese and for me that is just not good enough. Based on this, if our happy little vegemites continue on this current path, it is estimated that 65% of the younger Australian population will be overweight or obese by 2020.
That is more than half of our children.
Half – in five years, half of OUR Aussie kids! It scares me, it upsets me and it perplexes me.
Child obesity can have devastating effects both physically and psychologically. It can lead to low self-esteem, bullying, poor social development and incompetency at school.
This can create a ricochet effect for other physical and psychological health problems that can carry on through to adulthood like:
So how can this be happening?
We have become tech savvy couch potatoes. There is no denying that we live in a fast paced society with instant gratification.
We are QUALITY time poor. We drive through for our favourite meals that are “fast”, “convenient” and “cheap”. We shop with the click of a mouse. We work predominately in front of a screen and we work longer hours thanks to living expenses continuing to rise.
Children are led by example – monkey see, monkey do. So let’s start doing!
Nourish don’t Punish!
Do you remember sitting on the warm concrete in your cozi munching on a big slice of fresh juicy watermelon, juice dripping down your forearms?
Children should be eating REAL food. Food that nourishes, heals and energizes. Food that gives our kids sustained energy throughout the day which fuels their bodies and their minds allowing them to grow and develop into happy, healthy human beings.
Unprocessed, unrefined wholefoods the way mother-nature intended.
If you take a look inside a child’s lunchbox, I am willing to bet that the majority of its contents is in a packet. A packet of chips, cheese and biscuits, fruit straps, muesli bars, cookies, fruit juice boxes … these pretty packaged goodies have some heavy marketing behind them and some heavy dollars to make you believe that you are making “smart & healthy” choices for your children. With labels like “100% Fruit Juice” and “Natural” branded across them.
Sure there probably is 100% fruit juice in that box of juice, there is also a whole lot of other stuff too! Let me share something with you – there is nothing natural about a product that can spend its life in a packet on a shelf for months – even years without turning bad.
For prodcuts such as these to have a hefty shelf life, food companies jam pack these babies with chemicals, preservatives, sugar, sodium and a whole list of other ingredients that I can’t pronounce to enhance the taste and prolong the shelf life. They are deemed edible and ingestible but i personally believe we are only just beginning to experience the longer-term effect of these “ingredients” can have on our physical health and our mental well being and they are detrimental to our health.
Not scary enough? Did you know some companies actually use petro-chemicals in ice-cream so it doesn’t turn rock solid in the freezer? They put the same stuff in radiator fluid! Yep. You heard me right, radiator fluid. Then we serve it up to our family for dessert.
Think about what these pre-packaged foods are doing to your kiddies insides? Children should be eating all the colours of the rainbow from natural wholefoods. Fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance.
There is a common misconception out there that “healthy” food tastes bad.
This is certainly not the case and here at Raw Blend and our mission and our passion is to show you that you and your family can enjoy delicious, nutritious wholefoods every day!
Head to the Raw Blend website to find healthy recipes, tips and tricks to create for your family ‘A Healthy Mix For Life’. We also have a list of our 10 favourite kid approved recipes for the holidays.
Do you remember sitting around the dinner table sharing a meal with your entire family?
Today we sit on a couch with our lap tops or our smartphones as we multi-task emails from work, social media updates and shopping online. The kids are watching TV while they eat their burgers and fries and in the background a popular weight loss television show is on and you pause and watch for a moment. You think to yourself how sad it is that someone has gotten to the point where they are so unhealthy and overweight and that they are at risk of cutting their lives short … you shove another French fry in your mouth and think – tomorrow I will start exercising.
Does it sound familiar?
Unhealthy family habits can shape your children’s future. We are a product of our surroundings and as much as we try and deny that we are slowly turning into our parents – let’s face it, we are all little clones of them, one way or another.
Children are sponges, they absorb EVERYTHING. They learn from us and they mimic us, so let’s make healthy food choices and make healthy lifestyle choices.
Make a choice that will have a positive impact and give your children a positive message.
Turn the television set off and set the table. Sit down together – as a family and talk to one another. Enjoy a delicious and nutritious prepared meal together. It is fun I promise!
Let’s Get Physical
Do you remember when you couldn’t wait to go outside and play? Skipping, jumping, dancing, twirling, running, climbing trees and scraping your knees was the highlight of your day. It was simple. It was fun. It was healthy.
Our ever growing sedentary lifestyle is a major contributing factor to child obesity. No longer do children go outside to play. They are becoming less involved in active extracurricular activities and as a result are consuming more KJ then their little bodies are able to burn throughout the day. Not to mention the excess processed sugar they are consuming on a daily basis from modified foods.
Get your children moving – better yet get the whole family moving. Play!
Regular moving is beneficial not only for our body’s aesthetics but also for our heart health. Increasing your heart rate and moving your body produces feel good endorphins – making you quite literally happier! Happy & Healthy Kids… what more could you want?
Nope, I’m not talking about the denim ones. I am talking about the heredity ones. We all come in different shapes and sizes and genes can have an impact on how whether your child has a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese. If you have these factors in your family history then use this as an even bigger motivation to educate and encourage your children to make healthy choices throughout their life.
One step forward
It sounds cliché and corny I am sure, but Children are our future! What kind of a future are we preparing them for? Life can be hard enough, full of lessons, challenges and magical twists and turns – let’s give them the best chance to thrive and survive this wonderful game of life. Let’s allow them to be happy and healthy. That’s the best start we can give them and I am certain that when entering into the wild world of parenthood that’s all that you wished for them. To be HAPPY AND HEALTHY.
The Raw Blend Family Challenge!
I want you all to take on this Family challenge to encourage others everywhere to make healthy changes towards making child obesity a thing of the past. For one week I want you to implement these three Healthy changes into your household. It’s only one week and they are all achievable.
1. Participate in an outdoor family activity ALL TOGETHER. Get fresh air in your lungs, spend quality time with one another, get moving and have fun. Go for a family bike ride, a walk or run in the park perhaps? Backyard cricket, kick the footy. Whatever you choose remember you have to do it together!
2. Eat dinner as a family together – without the technology. I know this one can be hard with parents working late and kids extracurricular activities but whoever is in your household for dinner time – eat together. No TV, no phones, no computers. Engage in conversation and enjoy one another’s company over a delicious meal.
3. Eat Fresh! Try eliminating your pre-packaged snacks and food in a can. Eat fresh whenever and wherever possible.Fresh is best! I want you to include as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you can. If you own a blender smoothies are the best way to do this, they are simple, fast and delicious. You will feel amazing!
While you’re completing your weekly challenge make sure you keep us updated in the comment section below or upload your pics to social media. Don’t forget to tag us @rawblendoz and #rawblendfamilychallenge
Tommy Nicholas – Health Entrepreneur, Raw Food and Fitness Enthusiast and Creator of Raw Blend – a healthy mix for life.
Website & Blog