My husband and I were raised in very unhealthy homes. I grew up having to sit still, usually in front of a TV or sitting on my floor playing quietly. I couldn't participate in ANY sports or anything afterschool, and often was grossly over fed. I was over 150 lbs by middle school and over 200lbs by my sophmore year. My DH was over 450 lbs when he hit adulthood, but has at least gone down to around 400 since we were married 13 years ago. I was diagnosed with diabetes shortly after leaving my parent's home, and I've made many changes. We are both horribly addicted to watching TV and being couch potatoes.
I am admitting all of this stuff to lay a foundation... a background.
My kids are MUCH better than we ever were. We go to the zoo a lot, parks, walking trails, swimming, museums, outdoor events, etc... They eat WAY WAY WAY better than I ever did as a kid. However, there is room for improvement, and I'm noticing that they are slacking more as they are getting older. One of my kids is starting to be a little TOO chunky.
So... FFWD... Yesterday we did our Apologia Anatomy about bones. The kids found out how very important calcium is in the lesson. That seemed to mean something to them. They talked about it all the rest of the day and made choices to eat/drink some things with calcium and to share the information with their dad.
Well, I'm wondering if we highlighted on a food weekly... have the kids make a poster or a notebook page about what that particular food gives us (vitamin and mineral wise) and what those vitamins and minerals do for our bodies.... I wonder if I will see them choose to eat the healthy things more.
Do you have any suggestions for this project? Something they would enjoy? Aside from the obvious, using that food in cooking!!
Wow...I gotta a lot to say about this! My mother feed me and my sister Doritos, Mac and cheese, and ramen noodles....and that's about it.
I think teaching nutrition is a good idea...but don't forget to focus on exercise. Honestly it should as 50/50. But most people just focus on eating. Dont forget you are fighting against genetics...not just bad eating habits...so exercise is a must.
Next this should be a whole family thing..not just the kids.
Perhaps you should spend some time studying different diets..weight watchers, Atkins, south beach and so on. And then as a family pick one to try.
My kids and I were learning about plants one week. I have a whole board about plants, and this one pin was awesome. Its eating a whole plant. You have seeds (sunflower seeds), flower (broccoli), stem (celery), leaves (lettuce) and roots (carrots). It was pretty cool.
That's a really good idea. I think I'll do it with my kids this year. You could either do types of food, and then specific foods (like fruits, and how they are good for you as a whole. Then break it up into individual foods, like strawberries and oranges, and some good things about each one). Or you could pick nutrients, like iron, and sources, like meat or spinach. Protein: meat or beans.
To build on it a little, you could have them learn about how each food is grown. Like pineapple doesn't grow on trees, or beef is from cows, and how cows are raised. Maybe visit a farm. Local growing verses out of the country. Where in the world something grows or is from. That would teach geography.
I LOVE this post !
What a great idea you got going there.
Maybe you can do the poster in color and expand it with where the foods originated and how it become what it is today and where it ended up. This coukd become a lifelong type of project if done right.
This is the best cookbook I've purchased in a long time. I paid $4.00, including shipping: http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Vegetarian-Cookbook-Whitecap-Books/dp/155110752X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382204178&sr=8-1&keywords=the+essential+vegetarian+cookbook
We're not vegetarians, but need to include a LOT more non-meat foods into our diet. Aside from the great recipes there are whole sections in the front devoted to carbohydrates, fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, etc. It's extremely informative and the pictures are downright beautiful. My girls enjoy reading it, and I was thinking of combining it with our health classes.
My guys are good cooks! ;-) -- Link worked for me a minute ago, but now that I posted it.. It takes a REALLY LONG TIME to load!! Not sure it will work for you all, but maybe it will.. could be worth the wait. Sorry if it doesn't work!
you could do something like a no-sugar challenge for a week, or more. Maybe the goal isn't to completely not eat sugar, but to read labels and see how much stuff you eat regularly that has sugar in it! Perhaps cut out anything that lists sugar in the first 4 ingredients for a week.
You could also do something like try a new veggie or veggie recipe every week.
We're thin in this family, but not necessarily healthy! I really don't like to cook at all so we eat a lot of processed stuff. I have to go out of my way to plan meals and shop for stuff that isn't just open box, put on plate, serve. I've actually been working with a nutritionist.
She also recommends these plates for kids so they get enough veggies on their plate at every meal. But I need it as an adult too!!
We are constantly looking to imporve our family's quality of life through exercise and eating healthy. My SO and I hvae done pretty good since we had our DD 5 years ago and have done a much better job after taking in my niece who is 7 (we adopted her). The older one was fed mostly on fast food or whatever junk her mom would give her. She is the same weight now that she was when we got custody of her 2 years ago. That ought to tell you something! We stress the importance of specific foods when we purchase them. I love your idea of making it a family project and even getting Dad onboard which will help in the long run as well. Try and add a little bit of intensity to your walks like running for 10 seconds to start with and then walking again. Slowly increase each time you are out. Get everyone out for a walk either before your day starts or after dinner. We exercise as a family 3-4 days a week (at least we try to....I've been out with migraines and my SO has been out with a cracked rib and sore knees recetnly). Good luck with this it sounds like it is going to be an amazing project!!!
Grow a garden indoors! Herbs do very well inside, and they can see how they like to flavor things. It's amazing how different things taste from your own garden as opposed to the grocery store. We had celery in our garden this year--did you know it actually has a flavor? It was pretty amazing.
As for the diets mentioned above, I might compare them to the myplate.gov site that tells you what a balanced diet is. A lot of those diets focus too heavily on one aspect of the pyramid (or plate, in this case), and neglect or tell you that those aspects are bad. Everyone's body uses food differently, and it might be interesting to compare/contrast a metabolic disorder (diabetes) with an immunological disorder (food allergy).