SO often I read posts and comments bemoaning the state of school lunch programs and reminding us that these meals are often the only “nutrition” many children are receiving. Sadly, in many cases, this is all too true.
But even sadder is that SO many parents are waiting for the government to step in and feed their kids. I’m not talking about people who can’t afford to eat and rely on government assistance.
I’m talking about parents who either don’t know or don’t care that it’s THEIR responsibility to nourish their children. Properly. Of course school lunches could stand a lot of improvement. But why is there so much anger and hostility at the government when, IMHO, we should be mad at our own neighbors and friends who are slowly killing their kids? Our neighbors and friends who don’t want to educate themselves and don’t want to change for the sake of their own children. These are the folks at the core of the childhood obesity epidemic.
“As a pediatrician, I have watched the number of children with diet-related illnesses increase every year since I started practice. There are now days when I am overwhelmed and discouraged by the number of children whose health is diminished by a poor diet. This feeling of helplessness is why I started my website, doctoryum.com. It is also the reason I have made nutrition a passion and priority within my own family.”
Every day in her office, Dr. Fernando, also known as Dr. Yum, sees numerous children suffering from obesity. Children who are fed a steady diet of overly processed foods and sugary beverage drinks. Children brought in by parents who don’t seem to want to acknowledge their part in ruining the health of their own kids.
“Day after day, I see parents who fail to see the connection between poor nutrition and poor health. Consider that half of the kids I see will die of diet-related illness (e.g. heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc.). For the first time in the history of our nation, children’s lifespans will be shorter than that of their parents. I watch uninformed families fret over which model of expensive car seat they should buy while their kids sit next to them devouring unhealthy processed food. I want to say, “If you REALLY want to protect your child, then take the red soda and cheese puffs out of their mouth, and teach them to drink water and eat fruits and vegetables!!”
Dr. Yum is pledging to do whatever it takes to help parents start believing that the time and care they put into feeding their children is a worthy and satisfying investment.
Her website is packed full of articles and resources to help:
- make nutritious foods that kids will love
- encourage children to eat healthy food
- pack a healthy lunch
Dr. Yum is certainly setting a great example for others in her field.
- Help parents to understand that doctors and medicines cost a lot more than buying and preparing good food at home.
- Share healthy eating resources with the parents who need to know about them.
- Help kids get EXCITED about fresh fruits and vegetables.
I remember the week my daughter’s 5th grade class served healthy snacks to the rest of the school instead of the packaged junk that was usually for sale. Carrots and cucumbers served with dip suddenly became uber popular, simply because all the students got to cut and serve them!
Teach kids how to prepare vegetables? Easy. Change the school lunch program? Not so much.
Sometimes the easy road may actually be the one to take.