Editor's Note: Dr. McDill is hosting a "Building Healthy Families" seminar on Monday at 7 p.m. at Chiropractic Care, 4580 Highway 136, Trenton.
You’ve heard the saying, “What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.” Well, what we don’t know as parents is harming our kids. We have more information at our fingertips about how to be healthy than ever before, but it seems harder than ever to wade through all the options and advertisements vying for our attention. Most parents think they’re doing a great job of raising healthy children, but the numbers tell a different story.
Time magazine recently did an entire issue about our children’s declining health. The most shocking part of the entire piece was this: “In a recent survey sponsored by the YMCA, nine out of 10 parents rated themselves st good or excellent at providing a healthy home environment. But there’s something amiss: while 89percent of parents think that they are providing the right tools for their kids to lead a healthy life, fully one-third of children in the U.S. are overweight or obese.”
The Time magazine article went on to say, “What happened to the concept of sweet treats only on special occasions? According to the survey, 62 percent of parents reported that their children ate junk food one to four days per week. That finding supports recent data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey, which found that nearly 40 percent of the total calories consumed by 2-to-18-year-olds were empty—devoid of nutrients and derived from fat and sugar. Nearly 10 percent of American kids’ calorie intake came exclusively from sugary sodas and fruit drinks. But if parents are more concerned about their kids’ education than their weight, they may consider this: A 2010 study found that toddlers who ate junky, high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie diets at age 3 had lower IQs by age 8, compared with kids raised on healthful, whole foods.”
The result is a generation of degenerating bodies. Chronic health conditions in American kids have increased dramatically in recent years—rising from 12.8 percent in 1994 to 26.6 percent in 2006. Over the six-year study period, Jeanna Van Cleave, M.D., and her research team saw a huge rise in recent years in four categories: obesity, diabetes and heart conditions. These are all degenerative “adult” conditions in our kids!
The good news is that there is a solution – the five essentials. If we really want to change the health and futures of our children, here are five simple steps:
Maximized Mind: We must accept responsibility for how we care for our kids. Blaming the schools, our genes or food companies isn’t doing any good. The buck stops with us as parents and this is good news. Even though we don’t control all the outside forces that seek to influence our health, we do control our choices—and our choices determine the health of our family!
Maximized Nerve Supply: All function and healing comes from the brain to the body through the spinal cord, and the cervical spine (neck) is the most important. More children are being diagnosed with “text neck” – a condition where the normal curvature in the neck is lost, resulting in damage to the spinal cord. The extra weight – sometimes up to 60 pounds – on the cervical spine caused by looking down can lead to wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration, and even surgery, not to mention headaches and attention and mood problems.
Maximized Nutrition: Food additives, colorings, and processed sugar have been shown to change brain chemistry. We can start by reading food labels and eliminating anything with artificial colors (think yellow #5, red #20) and added sugar. Teach your kids to be food-label ninjas. Talk to your kids about what they are eating and they will surprise you. Here’s a great place to start—If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!
Maximized Exercise: On average, kids from 8 to 18 spend 7 hours and 38 minutes a day using entertainment media – staring at screens. Remember when you used to actually play outside? Go roller skating, rollerblading or skateboarding, indoors or outside. Do an activity challenge together, such as working towards a fun run or a walk for charity.
Minimized Toxins: 3000 chemicals have been approved for use in our foods. You can choose less toxic household cleaning supplies, natural toothpaste and real foods that haven’t been processed. Read the product labels and avoid complex chemicals made in a laboratory. When in doubt, ask yourself what your grandmother used in this same situation.
Five Tips for Building Healthy Families
When it comes to changing or modifying your lifestyle, there are many things you can do to start. We’ve taken out the guesswork and provided five tips below that you can implement today for you and your family.
Include them! Get your kids into the conversation about health and wellness. Talk about why being healthy is important.
Get your entire family adjusted. Spinal correction and maintenance should begin from birth so that complete health is maintained throughout their life.
Change your family’s eating habits and include them in grocery shopping and food prep when you can. You could even let them choose a dish or healthy treat from our recipe section at maximizedliving.com/recipes to try each week.
Exercise together! Go outside and play tag or kickball TOGETHER. It is not enough to tell your kids to go outside and play…your message will be more effective if you model it for them.
Implement cleaner consumer products into your home. You can start with sunscreens, but also check out ewg.org for fantastic information on pesticides in your food, toxin-free laundry soaps, body soaps, cosmetics, cleaning products, and a host of other products!
Our Building Healthy Families FREE workshop is happening Monday, March 19, at 7 p.m. at 4580 Highway 136, Trenton. Call (706) 657-4777 to reserve your seats. You will gain the tools and information you need to help make better decisions for you and your family that prevent disease and actively develop real health.
Why nutritional choices can mean failure or success for your child.
The dangerous effects of medications and over diagnosis of ADD and ADHD for children and adults.
How to set the best example of a healthy mindset.
How to eliminate sources of toxins from your body and home.