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CHERYL A. MAJOR: Japanese Children and Weight Management; Teach Your Children About Food


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Did you know Japanese children are projected to live the longest, healthiest, leanest lives of all children in the world? Japanese parents know you must teach your children about food.

When we live in a country with abundant food, why are we struggling with ever increasing childhood obesity and childhood diabetes?  Could it be the food we’re eating?  It is. But if it were easy to change and just start eating healthy meals and snacks, this article would be done now.

The fact is that our food supply, our SAD diet (Standard American Diet), is killing all of us.  It’s sentencing our children to earlier chronic disease and a shorter life span that we are projected to enjoy.  Why is it so hard to stop eating our favorite processed foods and snacks, and what can we do to change that?

The answer is simple, and it’s hard at the same time.  Simple because our processed foods, loaded with bad fats and sugars, and our huge portions are killing all of us.  Hard because those same processed foods are designed to be addictive; have you ever heard of an addict just deciding one day to stop shooting up heroin or snorting cocaine?  It’s not that simple.  Processed foods affect our brains the same way those drugs do.  It’s just not that simple…if you understand how to begin to change though, you have a real chance to save yourselves and your children; but it takes understanding and commitment.

Here are some suggestions and ideas to help you get yourself and your children started on a different path, toward health by eating rather than toward chronic disease and slow death by eating.

Explore new foods.  Perhaps have a different country-themed meal once in a while.  Mediterranean is typically healthy, so having an Italian meal (not a plate of pasta and bread though) is a good way to start. Italians eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables along with lean protein. Have a Japanese meal, fish or lean protein like chicken with brown or black rice and fresh or lightly steamed or stir-fried vegetables.

Have a new rule, if you have a picky eater in the house, they have to take at least one bite of something new.  This was the rule in my house growing up, and I know because of it, I like foods today that I would have refused to try back then.

Change the size of your plates.  This is another lesson borrowed from the Japanese.  They serve food on smaller plates, so follow their good example and put away those big dinner plates.  Use salad sized plates or buy something of an in-between size.  Portion control is key to weight loss, healthy weight maintenance and your overall long term health.

Make eating an adventure.  Let the kids help you in the kitchen.  I know we’re all busy, but take a little time to prepare a meal with your children and a few minutes to enjoy one meal together each day.

Set a good example.  If you enjoy the healthy foods and snacks you want your child to eat, and show your child you enjoy eating them, you will be a good role model for your kids; the odds are you will lose weight and live a leaner, healthier life too.  We should all take a lesson from the Japanese with their healthy children and teach our children about food.

Helping You Achieve Major Wellness in Your Life!

Cheryl A Major, CNWC

Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com   Cheryl offers ongoing information and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier.  Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor.  She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience.

Questions?  Email Cheryl at [email protected] and be sure to put Health Question in the subject line.  Your question and its answer will be included in a future article

P.S.  Get a copy of this special report I’ve prepared as my free gift to you: 10 Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget at http://ThinStrongHealthy.com .  As a bonus, you will receive Your Major Health Minutes, a quick bite of healthy information that will come to you a couple of times a week.  You know you want to lose weight and be healthier!