It’s true. Childhood obesity is a major public health crisis nationally and internationally. Today one in three children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school.
Children with obesity:
1. Are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases that impact physical health, such as type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and risk factors for heart disease.
2. Are bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers, and are more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.
3. Are likely to have obesity as adults, which is linked to serious conditions and diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and several types of cancer.
Governments - responsible to secure the health and the future of the next generations - although they acknowledge that obesity is a threat both to the health of children and to our economy “don’t hit the nail on the head”. Measures such as persuading the industries to cut the amount of sugar in food and drinks, or introducing cooking classes, or asking primary schools to help pupils get at least 60 minutes of exercise a day etc., do help, but are just not enough.
Are we really going to sit back on our couches and wait for political action to save our kids from diet-related diseases?
What do we as parents do in our own homes to help our kids eat healthy?
What is our Family Strategy to prevent obesity and promote healthy eating habits?
This is what I believe we parents can do for our kids health:
1. Weave cooking into the rhythmus of our weekday lives.
Everyone can find 30 min of his/her time to prepare a simple nutritious meal. The food industry tries everyday to undermine cooking as a daily practice and to persuade us that cooking is hard and time consuming. Let’s face it: Cooking homemade fresh food is the only way we can control fats, sugar, salt, corn syrup and all the preservatives that get in our children’s stomach every day.
2. Embrace the Mediterranean-style Cooking
Let us benefit from the most researched diet in the world. The diet, is since 2013 officially considered by UNESCO “an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”. Just Google “The Benefits of Mediterranean Diet” and you will find out, that the mountain of research concerning its positive effects for our health, is growing bigger and bigger day by day.
The Mediterranean diet is centered around simplicity and our kids love simplicity in taste. Why should our children learn eating -lets say- beef patties with Worcestershire sauce or Barbecue Onion Sauce or Teriyaki sauce? You only need parsley and a bunch of Mediterranean herbs to lift off the taste.
Step 1: Go to the market and select the best raw ingredients you can afford and
Step 2: Join us to find out, how we can turn those raw materials into a delicious, kid-friendly Mediterranean dish, that respects its original taste. Preparation time less than 30 minutes guaranteed.