A Former Fat Kid Trying to Raise Healthy Children
Posted by Dennis Aimes On August 7th, 2013
I was not always concerned with my own health. I ate whatever I wanted and I ate it whenever I wanted. It wasn’t until I was 29 that I had my first gout attack. When that happened I had to seriously re-evaluate my diet and make drastic changes to it. At 30 I developed a shellfish allergy. Let me say that again, I developed a shellfish allergy at 30, and I used to love eating crab so much.
After these happened my health suddenly became a concern. Being susceptible to gout means having limitations on the amount of animal protein I eat and having to make sure I’m getting plenty of fruits and vegetables in a day, and the shellfish one means that there are some restaurants where it isn’t safe for me to eat at all because of the threat of contact allergic reactions should food I order come into contact with shellfish.
I pay attention to my health now. I also pay attention to the health of my kids also. Like any parent would, I worry about what it is that they eat and how it can affect them as they develop into adults.
What scares me as a parent is how little food companies care about what they are feeding us. Their concerns are in making a product that is cheap, that won’t fill you up so you need more of it, and can last a long time on a shelf. Okay, maybe not all of them, but it gets hard to break that fear as a parent that everything is out to get your kids.
A day doesn’t go by that we don’t hear another story about how kids are getting fatter. As a parent you don’t always have complete control over what foods your kids are getting. Schools, kids, other parents, these might all contribute to delinquency in your child’s nutrition plan. “Parental experts” always say parents have complete control, but any parent knows that is not always the case.
For me, trying to teach my kids healthy eating habits started early on with them. I shared healthy snacks with them. If they were eating baby carrots I was eating baby carrots, not force feeding them a root vegetable while I shoved a bag of choco-cookies down my gullet and laughed at them. As my son grew up I worked to teach him about nutrition and the bad parts of obesity.
I make sure that I keep myself informed too. I read a lot on health and nutrition. I watch every food documentary that shows up on Netflix, I try to not get scared into never eating again in the process too. All this helps me to be a more conscious food consumer, the benefit I pass along to my kids in the food I feed them and what I teach them.
I know I’m going to need my health and energy later on. Especially when my son finally gets the keys to my car and I have to chase him down the street after he wrecks my Holden.
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