You would agree with me that it is time we went louder on healthy living and fitfam for our kids. The situation is getting real bad!
Schools and Churches; Two Institutions whose influence we cannot escape with our kids.
Birthdays and Celebrations; we all have them and our kids love them.
I have been thinking of how we can use both institutions to change the celebration narrative with healthier options. Not clear? Keep on reading. We’ll be on the same page by the end of the page, literally. And this is for everyone, even if you are not yet a parent!
Welcome to my blog. My name is Eziaha and I am a Healthy Living and Weight Management Consultant. My goal with this blog, and every content I put out there, is to help women and by extension, families, make healthier choices when it comes to their diet and lifestyle. So I would not just arm you with information, but also tools and make it as practical as possible so that you are equipped to do what you now know to do.
I already tackled a part of this for adults in this post where I share about the dangers of free food especially when it is JUNK.
I am also hosting a LIVE cooking experience for 6 weeks where I can help you kiss the dangerous and useless stock cubes buh-bye!
You can find out more about it here, and meet my FACULTY and BOARD too.
(if reading this after the date, you can still join us as you will get access to even past days)
Now let’s turn the spotlight on kids as we discus #ChildNutrition
As a mom of two boys, I am so careful about what my kids consume. I once heard Heather Lindsey say that every time we are feeding our kids, we are either feeding them life or taking life away from them.
Food is so powerful, and at the risk of you concluding that I am being judgemental, it is not right that we are having more and more overweight and obese kids and we think it is a sign of a healthy, well-fed child. It truly breaks my heart to see it, and I wonder if the parents, especially the mom, knows that she can actually do better!
I wonder if she knows that all these unhealthy foods, and junk consumed in quantities that are sickening but which we consider normal, will most likely one day, cause major problems for the kids’ health sooner than later. And I know that as a Mom, you don’t want to be the reason behind a sad Doctor’s diagnosis for your kids. You don’t!
But when you keep giving cereals, noodles, sausages, biscuits (especially those sugary ones and the ones with cream in the middle), packaged juices, and more to your kids as their regular foods, you are actually setting that child up for trouble in his/her health as she grows.
One day, we will stand to give an account to God about all things, including how we stewarded parenting our babies, and we must be ready for that.
So this blog is targeted to parents, yes, and then school owners and Sunday school teachers and Pastors.
I wanna share a few quick changes we can make now first at home, and then at Institution level (School and Church)
First, birthday party packs.
As a school owner, you can INSIST that beyond cake, (at the very most), there should be no further junk food in the party pack. One of the things I do very consciously is to ask myself WHO said so, on everything.
Cos sometimes, we are just inheriting someone’s (dangerous) opinion and adopting it as a way of life.
Eg, why do we have to have drinks, chocolates, biscuits, sweets and co in a child’s party pack?
Why cant we have educational toys instead? Or craft? Books? And the likes?
You may say they are more expensive BUT who says you need to fill up the party pack? Or that it even needs to be in a pack? Party pack has now become big business! For my kids birthdays, I just get ONE book for each classmate, and my son writes a customized note on each. And hands it over to them. Nothing else. And so far, I have not been arrested!
And before you say ‘birthdays are just once in a while and it doesn’t matter’. IT DOES!
It is beyond the one day activity, and it goes to what we are wiring into our kids which is that we need JUNK FOOD in excess to celebrate!
So, as a School owner or Influencer, let’s enforce that at school level.
We can also take the same concept to snacks in lunch packs. There is no rule that says kids must have drink, biscuit and the likes in their lunch box. None at all.
We can have fruits and water instead.
Gosh, think how POWERFUL this would be if schools adopted this. We could start a whole revolution and redeem our kids from this junk pandemic and its dangers now and in the future.
Just typing this and I can sense just how impactful this would be.
Because JUNK school snacks are one of the biggest drivers of this nonsense junk pandemic with kids
Moms have to buy snacks (biscuit and funny packaged drinks) cos of school and that gives it access into their homes. Because it is there, it is not for school only, but also for the house, and everyone, sometimes especially the mom finds herself enjoying the kids snacks at night as she watches TV and her waistline keeps increasing, but I won’t be going there today!
If the school says NO MORE JUNK AS SNACKS, trust me, these rubbish will reduce to eliminate in homes!
Take fruits and water to school. And the school must now find a way to ensure that the fruits don’t go bad before they are consumed. A fridge in every class/arm can help make that happen.
Or just reminding the kids to take it out of their lunch boxes where heat can help it go bad faster, can make the difference for some fruits.
In fact, let me tell you something I do. I stopped giving my kids snacks completely to school, and by snacks, I mean fruits of course! Because they would forget to bring out the banana for example out of their lunch packs and then when it is time to eat, it would be soft and we would have to trash it.
And because they were the only ones really bringing fruits, there was no need for the Teachers to remind them.
One day, I asked myself if they REALLY needed snacks?
They leave for school after a healthy and filling breakfast at 7am
They go with lunch which they get to eat at 11 or Noon.
They close at 2 and are home before 3pm most days.
I decided that if I took snacks out of the equation, they MAY not die LOL. And I did. And they didn’t even miss it. When they come back, I give them a rich and yummy smoothie or popsicle which holds them till dinner at 5.30pm.
All these overfeeding is unnecessary.
I would get why a child is hungry at 9 or 10am, (and this excludes the really younger ones and babies, who have to eat a bit more frequently). this is because we give empty cereals for breakfast and white bread, which breaks down quickly and leaves the kid hungry sooner than later. Plus we haven’t even mentioned what it does to their brain when breakfast is pure sugar (cereals, white bread, etx)
I will do another post on healthy breakfast options for kids, so please feel free to ask me any Qs you may have in the comments so I can answer and reflect those in that post.
Now, let’s quickly go to the church. Another place where kids celebrate birthdays. INSIST that in our Sunday school, aside from cake, we don’t do junk. And because I know the impracticality of giving fruits to kids as party packs, or even books and all, seeing that the kids may be like 70 LOL (I attend a Mega Church, Daystar), however, I have a solution.
This solution also covers the snacks the church provides to the children.
Before I share my solution, please STOP all these packaged drinks, fried stuff, pastries, and the likes we give kids in church as snacks.
First, provide them with water. Plenty water. How many hours are they in church that we feel a need to feed them?
Let’s stop using food to train our kids, please.
And then, if we must give something to eat, here is my solution
GIVE SIMPLE AND LESS SUGARY BISCUITS
Nothing with cream in it.
No overly sweet biscuits
Certainly NO sweet and chocolates!
Think Crackers (not the ones that have been compromised with too much sugar), cabin, even Coaster
If you live outside Nigeria, find the equivalent of these kind of biscuits. They are available. That way, the church is not fueling this junk pandemic please.
Like I said, free yourself of the guilt to have variety and to even feed the children until they are stuffed. They had breakfast at home and will go back to have lunch. They came to church to be fed spiritually, so invest in a solid teaching curriculum for their spiritual growth and not their physical stomach!!!
Well, that is all for this post, even though I am not even done. Like I said, I will do a continuation in a later post so ask your Qs!
I also wrote about gifts for children here especially when you visit so I won’t mention that on this blog. Catch up here
Moms, Parents, and Educators at home, in school and in church, let’s do better.
Right now, the junk pandemic is something else and we are NOT doing our children good if we just go with the flow. I hope this post inspires you to start to make MAJOR changes to what we are feeding our kids with.
It’s almost like every where we turn, the devil is finding a way to penetrate the kids; from their diet, to their dressing, to their leisure and entertainment choices and more, and we parents think we are being COOL!
No we aren’t.
We need to ALL do better!
Thank God for the internet; continue to research and implement, but don’t overwhelm yourself. If you pace yourself for even one year, a lot can happen in that time frame.
Rooting for you, and your precious babies. I want you to WIN!
And WIN we will.
Your Healthy Living and Weight Management Consultant
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