“The biggest food influence in our life is the nutritional gatekeeper. This is the person in our home who does most of the food shopping and meal preparation. Regardless of whether they’re a great cook or whether they’re “culinarily challenged,” they have a huge day-by-day influence on their family’s nutrition.
Although they don’t realize it, gate-keepers powerfully shape what food gets eaten both inside and outside the house. Suppose a teenager wants to eat Pop-Tart, but there aren’t any in the cupboard? The gate keeper has de facto decided they won’t be on the menu. This poor Pop-Tart hungry teenager either has to make a special trip to the grocery store, or pressure Mom or Dad to put them at the top of the next shopping list”
Wansink, Brian. Mindless Eating. New York: Bantam Dell, 2007. Print
How will you impact others as a nutritional gatekeeper at home?
The NHANES Survey shows that 16.9% of United States children and adolescents were obese in 2009-2010. That is about 12.5 million children and adolescents in the United States.
I have seen my aunt trying her best to feed my little cousin and man it is hard! He is such a picky eater. There are times when she has to give in to his demands and give him what he likes. There are many parents who have kids who refuse to eat anything except for chicken nuggets. There are also those who are not able to afford a nutritious meal for the entire family and resort to feeding them fast food to fill their bellies. Many parents have very busy schedules and quick fix meals are the answer. Unfortunately, despite parents best efforts to keep their children well-fed, they neglect to keep good nutrition a priority in their child’s life.
On the other end of the spectrum, David Ludwig, an obesity expert at Children’s Hospital in Boston, believes that parents should lose custody of their obese children as they are not able to properly nurture the healthy growth of their children. He states:
“State intervention may serve the best interests of many children with life-threatening obesity, comprising the only realistic way to control harmful behaviors”
Well, that is a little extreme but parents do need to take the front seat when it comes to feeding the children nutritious food and helping them stay active. Lack of nutritious diet can also lead to malnourishment where body is deficient of vital vitamins and minerals necessary for daily functions of life.
How do I give my child a good healthy future? Start with yourself – be a positive role model for your children. Good health is basic to a good life that is free of sickness and disease for yourself and your family. Not only will it help with the growing epidemic of childhood obesity and pursuant diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, but it will also teach them to make better choices later on in life.
Good food choices include: fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods, lean protein sources, and low-fat dairy.
In my future posts I will be sharing with you some very practical and healthy tips for yourself and your children.