By Cornelia Becker Seigneur

Noting  the importance of physical education classes at school and healthy school lunches and eating less fast food and encouraging less time in front of the computer and TV screens and more time outdoors are all good when it comes to the ongoing discussion of how to curb the childhood obesity issue in this country.

But, in the end, it is what we as families do at home that will make the difference.

Childhood obesity changes start at home.

And, yes, I believe that means unplugging the kids. And getting them outside into the fresh air. I know I need it. And so do our children, even when they do not know it.

Building natural exercise into a family’s life by walking together places is ideal. And cooking meals together from scratch and limiting junk food during the week and having more fresh fruits and vegetables available are all easy ideas.

It is the lifestyle at home that will make the difference.

I guess I get tired of the schools and the media and advertising getting blamed for kids being overweight. No PE classes, okay, that is too bad when they get cut, but as a family get your kids to walk more on your own. Or ride their bicycles. Walk to get a gallon of milk or a movie at the Red Box. Walk to pick up your kid at school. It’s amazing the conversations  that take place when you walk places with your children. Unhealthy school lunch choices? Pack your child’s lunch instead.

It is time to take responsibility for our own lives and teach our kids the same. 

And, for all of the environmentally conscious people out there. It’s also good for the environment.

Kids in general need to get outdoors more and play. I try to go on a walk outside every day, into the yard. Even if it is just for a minute. And our children need it as well. Again, it takes parenting to make it happen. We are here to guide our children and help create a lifestyle that will make the difference for a lifetime for them.

Growing up, my parents had us outdoors all the time. I remember bicycle rides to the park and the store and to friends’ houses. And playing in the yard with neighbors. We need to get back to basics on this with our families.

And, as all things parenting, begin with ourselves.

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