Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Preventing Childhood Obesity

The hardest thing about my weight loss journey is portion control. I grew up in a household where there was always four or five different meal options to choose from and not finishing the food on your plate wasn't an option. Eating the proper portions were never a thing that was brought up in the house, and I've sadly carried that trend into my own little family. This past year was all about making a lifestyle change to not only lose weight but to live a healthier lifestyle overall. The deeper I got into this journey, the more I realized that it needed to be a household thing not just an individual process. I couldn't try to improve my own health without teaching JAM and Mahal what I'm learning along the way. Clearly there was some hesitation from the both of them because they've seen how my eating habits have slowly changed and they weren't sure if they wanted to be a part of that. In my opinion, the best way to make a change is to make it fun.

I'm so happy to be supporting Fresh Baby in their mission to prevent childhood obesity. I'm a firm believer that our children are our future and change definitely starts with them. I wouldn't say that JAM is obese, but I do know that we could definitely eat a little healthier as a family. JAM naturally plays a lot of sports and being the rowdy little boy that he is, it's not that hard to convince his to run around and play outside with his friends as a method of daily exercise. However, he wasn't too on board when he heard the words "more fruits and veggies", "more lean meats" or "less processed foods", which was totally understandable. Fresh Baby not only made this lifestyle change easy for JAM, they made it easy for the whole family on our mission to healthier eating.

Fresh Baby teamed with the USDA to help families like ours to determine "What's the right amount of food for my family's plate?" Kids love new, shiny "toys" so when JAM saw the package from Fresh Baby on our doorstep he was super excited to find out what was inside. Fresh Baby provided us with: a Let's Move Foam Puzzle, a Kid's 4-Section Plate, an Adult 4-Section plate, a Kid's Portion Tip Card, an Adult Water Bottle, a Mom's Water Bottle, a Kid's Water Bottle, and a Kid's Apron (all the thoughts and opinions written about these products are completely my own).

The awesome thing about Fresh Baby's website is they offer a ton of articles, recipes, and downloadable tips sheets to help ease the transition to healthier eating. The USDA takes it a step further on their site and offers tools like the Super Tracker which offers a variety of interactive features to help you manage weight, set goals, and even journal your progress. JAM was already introduced to the food groups in school, but we still went over the Kid's Portion Tip Card together. I was honestly shocked at how far off our home portion sizes were compared to USDA recommendations. For some categories, I was serving JAM double or even triple the recommended serving amount! So, to help re-wire BOTH of our brains, JAM threw on his Kid's Apron and started helping me prepare dinner every day so that we worked together in preparing healthier meals. The Kid's and Adult 4-Section plates make portion sizing fool proof at dinner time. JAM had a blast using his special plate and filling in each food group on it. One important thing we learned during this journey was how important it was to drink a lot of water. The provided water bottles made it super easy to make sure we were getting enough daily intake and we used the tools on the USDA website to track all of that. JAM would fill up his fun, kid's water bottle, clip it to his belt loop on his shorts, and off he went to play with his friends outside.

Fresh Baby and the USDA definitely gave us the eye opener we needed when they provided my family with these awesome tools for healthier eating. Thank you so much for getting us on the right track and we will definitely continue this lifestyle change into the future. I'm definitely proud to help prevent childhood obesity starting with my own child right at home.

What healthy eating steps are you practicing at home?