Plaza Familia Magazine

Page 17

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fresh Air, free body

hen I had my first child there was a time I came to the point of tears because he wouldn’t eat, was very thin and it was very difficult for me to get him to try even a tiny bite. I think that in his early years, his diet was based mostly on yogurt, because that was all that he really liked.

Some of my friends told me “you’ll see that there will come a day when you won’t know how to stop him from eating”, now at 10 years old he’s no longer the thin one, on the contrary. The sad reality is that most of his friends are not thin, but that doesn’t surprise me. Children spend almost 8 hours a day at school, during which a minimum amount of that time is devoted to physical exercise, then they come home to eat, do homework and play video games, sit at the computer or watch T.V.

Avoid being indoors - even though video games can be interesting, children lose opportunities to interact with kids their own age in this type of environment, their bodies don’t move, and they become prisoners of the screen, completely zoned out. In contrast, activities and outdoor games free the body and mind, renew their energy, and help activate the senses and spark creativity and imagination. It makes one feel alive! Work together to return to what was perhaps considered normal in our childhood, this space that all children need to play and have fun, for even just a half an hour, every day. Recreation and outdoor activities not only benefit your child’s body, but their overall health as well.

Happy spring!

Photographs : Opposite Page: Kids: ©istock.com/aldomurillo. This Page: ©istock.com/morganl.

Childhood obesity figures are alarming and often we hear of new campaigns that are being undertaken to combat this terrible disease among children in the United States; however we as parents must take action and educate our children who are forming habits, customs and their entire personality.

LITTLE BY LITTLE

By making small changes, the results can be surprising. Obesity is a terrible problem, and although it’s best prevented, we can also take steps now! Beautiful days are here, so take advantage of the nice weather that invites us to enjoy outdoor activities with our children - go out together to walk, play at the park, run, jump rope or roller blade.

APRIL / MAY • ABRIL / MAYO 2012 | PLAZA FAMILIA 17