If there is one place that you should feel safe about sending your children, it is school. School is the place they will spend the majority of their waking hours from ages 5 until 17 (and even more than that once they hit college, but who’s counting?). If your child at the ripe age of 5 is going to be spending 7 hours there, you want them to be safe, have a good experience and earn a whole lot. (Let’s be honest, you do not really have much of a choice. It is against the law to keep your kids home from school unless you do a regimented home schooling program, but I digress.)
But a new study came out saying that children are at risk of unhealthy behavior when they are away from home. And the place they are most often away from home is school.
It is not risky behavior like hurling off of playground toys or horsing around with their friends. This unsafe behavior comes from eating. One of the most simple and necessary daily actions with our bodies.
A study from the American Dietetic Association states that kids eat loads more calories when they are away from home (this includes friend’s houses, etc.)
One big problem is that kids are eating almost 200 more calories a day than children did from more than 30 years ago. This is a significant increase in overall calories and a significant reason for weight gain. So significant that obesity rates have tripled in the last 30 years. Yikes.
The other problem is that kids are eating more and more outside of the home because of the increasing trend of fast food. Even if this food is eaten at home, it still is contributing to the overeating.
So how can we fix this?
Children need to learn at a young age about eating healthy. This means helping them make the right choices when they are away from home. The only way to do this is to start young and to lead by example. If you are not making healthy choices, your children will not either. They look to their parents for eating cues and develop a taste for different types of foods when they eat it growing up. Want this in your kids? Then you need to shape up too. Now if you have not been eating healthy their whole lives, you are not doomed to poor eating forever, however the road will not be easy. It will be worth it.
Eating at home has many other benefits besides just being healthy. It can also save you a bundle of money. Want to get plans for low cost health insurance? Being healthier by starting with eating at home can get you there. Your overall health can affect your health care costs overall. By eating at home, you and your family can be healthier overall, which translates into big savings.
By teaching your children healthy eating habits, and following those habits yourself, you can live a healthier (and cheaper) life.