Are you listening?
Did you know that childhood obesity is one of the leading causes of childhood illness and disease? Did you also know childhood obesity is a major determining factor to health and weight issues as adults? It’s true! According to the CDC – since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled. Experts all agree the path we pave to the dinner table for our children is critical to reigning in obesity and disease of the next generation of adults.
Parental laziness, complacency, budgets, and plain ol’ ignorance has been to the detriment of our children’s health. I caught up with Ellen Briggs, President of Family Food Experts and, founder of Kid Kritics Approved, to find out how we as parents, can keep our kids healthy and free of obesity related health issues. As with most people who live for a cause, Ellen had a few “Ah Ha” moments that lead the way to her role in educating moms and dads.
What started you on this journey?
My mother fed us fresh food and she grew fruit and vegetables in her organic garden. We weren’t allowed any junk food… no processed candy or cookies. No desserts. No sugar added to anything, including our cereal. Special treats were reserved for special occasions, none were fake. Once off to college and a career, I loosened my restrictive junk food reins and began filling up with some not so good for you food. Not a lot, just enough to throw me off. This led to a wake-up call.
After becoming a TaB soda addict, I heard the warning bell rang. Periodically throughout the day, my throat would close up so I couldn’t breathe. Finally I went to a doctor who told me to go cold turkey, no more TaB. I did and for three week’s I had a headache which felt like a 2 inch nail was being driven into the middle of my forehead. Then it stopped. Since then, I’ve refused sodas of any kind and caffeine and have been free of all those symptoms.
And there’s more, my daughter was, and still is, the pickiest eater on the planet. In addition, my son was a year round highly competitive player of multiple sports, plus a percussion and academic achiever. My daughter’s food challenges and my sons extra nourishment requirements zoned me in on finding solutions they would eat. That’s when I began pooling together all my knowledge, experience and began digging for more. This lead to writing, Are Your Kids Running on Empty and its accompanying CD cookbook, Mom, I’m Hungry. What’s for Dinner? This lead to the Kid Kritics Approved program and the Family Food Experts.
Most of us have experienced the rejection of healthier foods by kids, so we created KKA taste tests where at least 70% have to give positive results to whatever they taste for it to be awarded their seal of approval. Consequently, moms know the odds are that their kids will like it too!
How do you feel about the growing crisis and risks of childhood obesity?
It is avoidable and reversible. Filling everyone with “you have to have this… you deserve this… this will make you happy… you’ll be cool if you eat/drink this” messages and at the same time others are saying, “don’t”, doesn’t help at all. Motivating kids with “Fueling Your Dreams” healthier meals that taste good is the answer. Eat Fresh! If we don’t take heed, this population will continue to grow sicker, be less productive while exhibiting more negative destructive behavior.
Do the kids like the healthier snacks?
YES! Just ask Kid Kritics. They do blind taste tests of products and recipes for us. We know kids want healthier foods as long as they taste good!
Which recipe are you finding they love the most?
One recipe? There are lots they love the most, vegetables included. Just look at our Recipe Library to see what I mean. Many of the recipes are Kid Kritics Approved and have comments you can read.
Obesity is a rapidly growing problem in our country that even the First Lady recognizes. The health traits our children inherit is in our hands. Learn more about “Fueling the Dream” instead of feeding the problem on the Kid Kritics Approved Blog. The reality is, children will eat what we feed them. They may ‘think’ they don’t like something, and they may put up a fuss, but often it isn’t a matter of a delicate pallet and is instead the result of what we continuously put on our tables.
Original story: Are You Passing Your Pounds to Your Children - Re-Body Total Transformation System