The statement and myth has always been that junk food is cheaper than healthy food.  A recent Op-Ed in the New York Times has proven what many of us have known for years, junk food is NOT cheaper than healthy food.  My thought process on this is of course!  The potential and probable increase in costs due to a diet containing mainly processed foods and junk food related to; health concerns and health care, absenteeism from work and/or school, and general mental well-being or dissatisfaction with life .  People who eat a diet with variety of foods, natural ingredients and a rainbow of colors in their fruits and vegetables tend to be healthier and have a more positive outlook on their lives because their brains and bodies are getting the proper nourishment that they need.

Another reason why we should start our kids eating better foods right from the start! This is the first generation of kids in two centuries that will not have a life expectancy longer than their parents (read the New York Times Health article for more information)! Children today are exposed to so many processed foods, chemicals and junk food and it is really taking a toll on their health.  The rates of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and kidney failure is affecting younger people at an alarming rate.  We really need to take a look at what we are feeding (and teaching) our children and why:

*School Lunch Programs-With more and more kids each year qualifying for Free and Reduced Lunches we need to do a better job at properly feeding our kids.  The reality is that for some of these kids, the meals they eat at school are the only meals they will eat during the day.  So lets give them proper nutrition that will help them learn and grow and that is not pop tarts, donuts, Rib-e-que sandwiches and Lunchables.

*Decrease in Home Made Meals-Lets face it, our society is busy, over-scheduled, and wants things fast!  My family is no exception, but I really stand behind having a home cooked meal at least 5 nights a week!  That is one reason I started this blog, to help others learn that good meals can be easy, affordable, healthy and fast!

*Society-Our society has become for manipulated by marketing-print, radio and television.  How many of us as parents have heard our children clamor for a cereal because of the cartoon character on the box or to go get a Happy Meal because of the toy inside  or to have a certain food in their lunch because their best friend does.  It is all a societal pressure game.  We need to stop listening to society and take a stand for what is good and right for our families health and well-being.

*Lack of Food education-We need to teach our children where food comes from, how it grows, what it does (both positive and negative) to our bodies, to taste a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, to explore different foods from other cultures, learn to cook or better cooking techniques, and what it means to eat a variety in our diets.

*Lack of Exercise-Families need to take more time together exploring the outdoors, playing a game of soccer together, going on a hike, walking instead of driving, etc.  For a busy society we all tend to sit far too much and it is growing our backsides and not our brains and true family time!  

So, I just gave you my soap box sermon for the day.  What thoughts do you have on these two articles, healthy foods, obesity, or any of my comments?


Rachel

 


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