Calling All Parents

The Summer Challenge: Addressing Kids’ Unhealthy Habits

Summer is here and our kids’ unhealthy habits are exposed for all to see. Routine is paramount for all humans, but our kids are particularly used to schedules during the school year, so chaos typically ensues when summer arrives. That is unless we caretakers are willing to step in to provide guidance. And unfortunately, role modeling health habits proves difficult for most adults, so how can we expect kids to succumb, if we can’t?

As a parent of four and “mimi” of two, I am very aware round two of how easy it is to “give into” the littles. The issue is that habits are secured during these early years, and if we can’t gain/keep control now, we don’t stand a chance in the future.

Modeling Healthy Habits: A Struggle for Adults

Parents often proclaim their immense love for their kids with the strong statement “I would die for my kids”, yet in my experience, most are unwilling to cook for those very same children. As your resident nutritionist, who professes an international “healthy eating pattern” approach for all, bringing the family around the kitchen table is perhaps the best way to place wholesome, nutritious, and delicious food in front of them, putting devices away, and have meaningful conversations, that will allow you to feel good about these far and few communal eating occasions.  

According to most, if not all health organizations, the only counter to the obesity epidemic that is affecting children and adults of all ages, is to improve eating and exercise habits for the entire family. So I’ll ask the question now…are you willing to make change for the sake of your children’s lives??!!

Dealing with Childhood Obesity Together

Mama G's Lifestyle - Children's obesity, consult with a nutritionist

Childhood obesity can lead to the same serious health problems that we typically see in adults, including high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol, and the ensuing diseases attached to these ailments.  It can also lead to depression and self-esteem issues, which only add insult to injury, but with modest changes, we can change the trajectory of not only our kids’ lives, but ours as well.

Let’s take a look at the risk factors, and then if concerned, have a conversation with your child’s pediatrician:

  • Diet Quality: Do you see less wholesome foods filling out the bulk of your family’s food choices? How much sugar, sodium, and fat-laden foods are consumed in the course of a typical day?
  • Lack of Exercise: Is regular movement/play a part of your kid’s day? Sedentary behaviors are the norm today courtesy of the internet.
  • Family Factors: This is where we must look at ourselves, especially if we struggle with overweight/obesity. Do we tend to choose high-calorie, highly palatable foods, and avoid exercise?
  • Psychological Factors: Food is often used to cope with stress and boredom. This emotional attachment to food starts very early in life.
  • Socioeconomic Factors: Depending on where you live, resources might be limited when we look to food choices and exercise opportunities. 
  • Medications: Certain medications can cause weight gain, so be sure to speak to your child’s provider prior to starting new medications. 

Creating Lasting Change in Families

Mama G's Lifestyle - setting a healthy example to your children - eating healthy food together

So now what? Leading by example is the best way to make a change. There is nothing wrong with occasional treats and splurges, but it might be worthwhile to actually log the food your family is eating for a few days to be able to really evaluate food choices. Planned family activities, like walking the dog, bike rides, and hikes, will benefit the entire family both physically and psychologically. 

Contact us at for our FREE healthy eating plates and resource list to help you improve the quality of your family’s life.


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