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Archive for the 'Health and Nutrition' Category

Jamie Oliver’s TED Speech on Obesity

Following yesterday’s entry, one reader commented with a link to Jamie Oliver’s TED award speech.  Up until a few days ago, I had never heard of Jamie Oliver.  He has some interesting things to say on the topic of childhood obesity however.  If you are concerned about the topic, I encourage you to take a look at the video below.

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Foreign Vegetables

Below is a video that was emailed to me this morning (thanks to Andrew).  It is a short preview to an upcoming television show that premieres later this month.

The Youtube video description states the following:

Watch as kids in an elementary school class in Huntington, West Virginia have trouble identifying fresh fruits and vegetables. Huntington has been called the unhealthiest city in America where nearly half of the adults are considered obese.

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Unfortunately, I’m not surprised by the video.  I am however glad that my three year old son was able to identify each vegetable from the preview.

Perhaps he has an unfair advantage, as he is usually my wife’s sidekick when she does the grocery shopping.  He’s been eating fresh vegetables since his first day of real food. When he asks for a snack, he is usually looking for fresh fruits and veggies. That is his idea of a snack. It’s what he’s been around his entire life.

In the words of John Dryden,

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”

As I’ve stated many times before, youngsters don’t do their own grocery shopping. They follow the lead of their parents. It is up to us to guide, nurture, and teach them.

The best role model for a child is his or her parents.  Parents need to stop making excuses and step up to the plate.   If you don’t know what to do, take the time to find out.  Knowledge must be sought.  It won’t funnel through your pillow at night through osmosis.

Do what you need to do to raise a healthy child.

In the words of Ben Franklin,

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”


Get Your Kids Outside

According to the National Wildlife Federation, the average American child spends between four and seven minutes playing outside each day.  For a young child, that’s about enough time to throw a ball, retrieve it, and then head back inside.

Kids have become more inclined to sit in front of the television than ever before.  If you are a parent, I highly recommend perusing the National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There campaign.

You can even find a link that will help you locate outdoor activities in your local area.

Nature Event Finder

A Change In Times

As a child, sitting in front of the television was the last thing I wanted to do.  We’d get home from school and immediately head outside.  We stayed outside until the sun went down.  There was always something to play.  It didn’t matter the season.  Whether it was hot in the summer or cold in the winter, we headed outside to play.

My wife and I are raising our children the same way.  They love the outdoors.  My kids would stay outside all day if we let them.  It’s natural for children to enjoy playing outside.  The kids of today aren’t different than us.  It’s just that their surroundings have changed.  We didn’t have the technology that exists today.  I still remember when the Atari 2600 came out.  If the kids of today had to trade in their Playstation for the old Atari system, they’d probably want to head outside too.

Since that isn’t going to happen, parents need to step up to the plate and invest time in their children.  That means getting up and taking your kids outside to play.  Yes, there will be times when Mother Nature interferes, but even the winter offers opportunities for the kids to play.  I still have vivid memories of my childhood winters.  We played football in the snow, went sledding down any hill we could find, skated on the ice, and had monumental neighborhood snow ball fights!  As a child, life revolved around what to play and where to play.

The kids of today begin with a similar interest in outdoor play.  It fades as they gain more and more access to electronic devices.  Parents still have the power to pull the plug however.  I don’t want  my kids glued to the television set.  I’d rather have them involved in a useful activity.  Clearly, we can’t spend all day outside, but we can certainly make an effort.  Earlier today, I took my son for a hike into the woods.  We were gone for no more than a half hour, but he had the time of his life.  He didn’t need any toys.  He ran in the snow, followed animal tracks, and watched as I collected wood.  He had an outdoor adventure and we didn’t make it more than 100 yards from my back door.  Outdoor activities don’t need to be complicated.  Get outside and your kids will find ways to entertain themselves.

Unfortunately, many kids never have the opportunity. Here is a quote from the National Wildlife Federation site:

American childhood has moved indoors during the last two decades, taking a mental and physical toll on today’s kids. The negative impact of decreased time outdoors includes a doubling of the childhood obesity rate — accompanied by an incremental hundred billion dollar cost to our health care system — as well as declining creativity, concentration and social skills.

Parents have the power to curb these alarming statistics.  Your children will follow your lead.  Get up, get outside, and promote a healthy and active lifestyle.  It doesn’t take anything other than the willingness to get up and get involved. And if you can’t get outside because of the weather, find something fun to do indoors.   My kids can turn a few balloons into an hour of fun.  They hit the balloons into the air, chase them down to catch, kick, throw, etc.

Once again, children don’t need elaborate toys for entertainment.  More often than not, they just want to get up and move.  Foster this interest rather than ignoring it with unlimited access to electronic media.

Let a kid be a kid, the way nature intended…


Farms For The Future

Following two recent posts on food production (The Future of Food and Food, Inc.), I’ve received several emails with additional viewing suggestions.  There have also been comments posted within each of the original entries.

Farms for the Future has been mentioned a few times, so I figured it would be worthwhile to embed the full video within the blog.

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Viddler video.

For those interested, the video is also available on Youtube.  Part I can be found here.

And please note that I’m not posting these videos to scare anyone, but I do think it is important to know how and where our food is produced.

In terms of nutritional strategies and ideas, I am all for simplicity.  As stated within a past entry:

My nutritional strategy is very simple. I eat real food (ex. fruits, veggies, fish, meat, etc.) when I’m hungry, and I don’t eat any artificial and/or processed junk. That’s it. I have better things to do with my time than counting how much of this or that nutrient has been consumed in this or that meal. My ancestors did pretty well without calculating zones and nutrient ratios on the abacus, so I see no reason to change. I never get sick, recover quickly from training, and feel good throughout the day. If it isn’t broken, I see no reason to fix it. Find what works for you. That’s the best nutritional advice I ever heard, so now I’m giving it to you.

In the words of Confucius,

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

Amazingly, despite originating a few thousand years ago, the statement above is still as true as ever.


The Future of Food

Following a recent entry on the movie Food Inc., a reader of the site recommended another film (The Future of Food).  I’ve finally got around to watching the entire film.  If you enjoyed Food, Inc., I’m sure you will enjoy this one as well.  An introduction to the film is provided below:

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You can watch the entire film on (for free).  A direct link is provided below:

The Future of Food




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