The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: Cut the Carbs

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cut the Carbs

In an age when childhood obesity has hit an all-time high and adult obesity has spiraled out of control, I think it's important to consider the underlying cause for this problem.  It may be the sedentery lifestyle we all now lead - we use the remote instead of getting up to turn the channel, we park as close to the building as possible instead of walking a few extra yards for exercise, and we use "labor-saving" devices to make our lives easier.  But I think that's only half the problem.  The other half relates to the amount of carbohydrates we ingest. (Do you want to supersize those fries?)  Since retiring two years ago, I've lost 60 lbs by eliminating most carbs from my everyday diet.  That means I have a bowl of cereal for breakfast as a jumpstart, a half sandwich on whole wheat for lunch, and a small serving of a carb with dinner.  And that's pretty much the only change I've made to cause such a difference in my weight and overall well-being.  No more breaded foods, huge hamburger roles, bread with dinner, etc. etc. etc.  My diet now consists of protein, lots and lots of veggies, some fruit, and some dairy.  And I feel great! 

So how does this information impact your children?  If my kids were in school now and I had this diet revelation, I'd pack their lunches every day rather than sending them off with the easy money for high-carb school lunches.  Carbs are cheap!  Healthy food is more expensive.  So the schools pack their lunches with carbs to fill the kids and stay within budget. What a horrible trade-off!  Instead, fill your child's lunch with healthy alternatives: half sandwich or a full sandwich on thin bread, a piece of fruit, a dairy product (yogurt, cheese, etc.), and a healthy beverage.  That should be enough to keep any child's energy meter on high from lunch to the inevitable snack at home.  Remember to keep healthy snacks at home (no chips!) so they can make good afternoon food choices.  Healthy children are happy children.  Healthy parents are happy parents!

And teachers ... what does your lunch look like?  Don't be like me - I packed on a ton of weight buying school lunches when I was too busy to pack my own food.  Bring your lunch and you'll stay in shape, feel healthier, and cope with everyday pressures much better.

Happy parenting!  Happy teaching!

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