What can be done about childhood obesity?

Four Generations………….Children are born, traditions are passed and the love continues on! This statement means a lot more to me than the frame our family’s four generation picture is placed in. Not only because the love continues on, but the love of our healthy lifestyle continues on.

If you saw my mother she was the picture of perfect health for most of her life. She ate healthy and was extremely active in not only a physical way, but mentally as well. She passed away 4 years ago and I miss her everyday! At a very young age we were taught to eat healthy. We were living in the orient and my mother learned the oriental cooking techniques and adapted some of those techniques when we moved back to the United States. We also never really went out to eat much and that was primarily due to the expense. Fast food wasn’t anything she cared to visit so we really never frequented those establishments either. My mother was a very active person who loved ballroom dancing and bridge. She competed and won many first place awards for her ballroom dance ability and was dancing up to age 86 and beyond! She loved dancing so much she enrolled me in ballet, tap and jazz at the age of 3. I was heavily involved in dance with her watching all of my classes and recitals up until the time I graduated from high school.

With the lifestyle I had as a child from my ballet dancing to my mother’s healthy cooking I was able to bring that into my own adult life. My husband and I married young and had our children before we were in our late twenties. My husband was in the Air Force and money was tight. We hardly ever ate out and for much of my children’s growing up stage, like my childhood, we didn’t frequent fast food restaurants very often. Both my daughters were in sports and gymnastics throughout many of their growing up years and even though one child was more academic and one more athletic they both follow a healthy way of life today. Sodas and sugared drinks were not in our house often so they even drank more water and milk then their classmates did. My children would rather eat a home cooked meal with fresh vegetables and lean protein than go out to eat at a restaurant.

The beauty of all of this is watching my daughter instill some of these healthy choices on her own children. It’s a blessing to know that our family tree of healthy eating started many, many years ago. My grandchildren come to my house and would rather fresh fruit over candy and cherry tomatoes over ice cream. Both of my granddaughters have been enrolled in dance and gymnastics almost since the time they took their first steps and their family rarely eats out unless it’s a special occasion. It’s never too late to change your family tree if you weren’t raised as I was in a healthy lifestyle home.

As a Health Coach, I am concerned about the health and wellness of our nation and most importantly the lack of activity among our children. With all the electronic gadgets and television shows there are today and the lack of physical education in our schools are children are living a sedentary life. For these reasons it’s vitally important to make sure we are showing them how to eat healthy by making certain we don’t load up on fattening and sugar ladened foods to the amount of portions we are eating. It’s also important to make certain we are doing the same so they follow in our footsteps. As I said before, it’s really never is too late to change your family tree so begin showing your children and grandchildren how much you love them by having an active lifestyle and making healthy eating choices!

Sylvia Tarnuzzer
Certified Weight Loss and Wellness Coach

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