When should we start teaching our children about calories and exercising?
Do we wait until they are already overweight?
Do we wait until they go to school and eat school lunches?
Should we start at home when they are too young to really understand what a calorie is?
These have been weighing on my mind lately.
My Momma and Dad never worried about being overweight. Neither of them were overweight when we were growing up. They ate what they wanted and so did me and my brother. I started packing on the pounds during adolescence and remember Momma trying to help us lose weight by putting everyone on the Hilton Head Diet when I was 14. When I was 16, I suffered from gallstones and had my gall bladder removed. It was sort of downhill from there. Momma and I would do Jazzercise at the local park and we loved it. She tried to keep me active, but it wasn't enough. I briefly recall learning about calories in the 9th grade. I think it was a one day assignment and even then I didn't really understand them.
Now I understand the importance of calorie counting and exercising.
Sissy has started "counting calories" too. But in her innocent 5 year old way. She can't read and doesn't understand numbers. I've been encouraging my children to eat more fruit and vegetables. It's really easy. We just don't buy junk. I rarely buy chocolate and ice cream. Their treats consists of yogurt, popsicles and fruit snacks. I don't keep track of their calories. They eat what I eat and most every day, they eat way more! I try to keep them active by going to the park and having them run in circles through our living room and kitchen. They think it's fun. I'm not going to tell them any different. Sissy likes to work out with Jillian but usually quits about 5 minutes in and watches me. More like, critiques me and lets me know what I'm doing wrong!
My kids watch PBS every day. Even Curious George encourages good eating habits...do you want the sugary sweet or do you want the blueberries? George goes for the blueberries. Kids follow suit. They ask for the blueberries because that's what George eats.
I want to make sure my kids have all the knowledge to avoid battling weight issues. I think they will be better for it. Do I worry they might develop an eating disorder? It has crossed my mind. That's why I'm blogging about it. But I also worry about obesity. And that's just as deadly as the opposite, right? Knowing how to eat proper nutrition is invaluable. I hope my kids will be alright.
I know this is a touchy matter and may be on your hearts as well. I welcome your comments.