Child Health Day: The purpose of this day is to raise awareness to parents about keeping their kids healthy. You may or may not know that over 44% of Mississippi children are considered overweight or obese. Obesity is related to many diseases that can end in death. If we keep going at this rate, we may outlive our children.

Jess and I do not have children of our own yet so some may not agree with my opinions on this topic, but I feel that it is a parent’s responsibility to ensure that their child is living a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, I know first hand that kids are not getting as much health education as needed in the school setting, so where else would they learn? A five-year-old is typically not going to know what is best to eat, so why do we even give them the choice? My mom and dad made me drink milk at dinner every single night of my entire life. Every night I said that I did not like/want/need milk but guess what- it wasn’t my decision. To this day Jess and I go through milk like nobody’s business because I’ve learned to love it! Now although my mom did have a dessert weakness (which she passed down to all of us), for the most part she instilled great nutrition practices into my lifestyle. I am constantly getting the question of how to be disciplined regarding what to eat. The easiest way is to start good practices during childhood. So if you do not want your children to struggle with the same food weaknesses as you do, do something about it now!

Today is about taking the time to ensure that your child has a healthy future ahead. I encourage you to cook a meal with your family tonight, and don’t forget to explain why eating healthy is important. It’s not rocket science. If you have no other ideas, a simple meal such as grilled chicken tenders, brown rice, broccoli, and grapes for dessert will suffice (with milk to drink, of course ? ). To get more ideas on some healthy recipes to cook with your kids, click here.

Also, try to incorporate some physical activity into your child’s day. Go out for a family walk with the dog… Pull out the old twister game… Or just turn on some music and dance it out! Exercise does not have to be structured or repetitive- it’s simply about getting your heart pumping!

Being healthy is not about a strict schedule of cardio, water, and carrot sticks. Being healthy is about learning how to make the right decisions and aiming to do so in your every day life. Everyone slips up sometimes, but what’s important is that you KNOW what is right and will aim to do better next time. The question is, do our children know how and why to make the right health decisions?