Healthy Healing Article: Weight Control For Kids

America’s children are becoming an overweight generation…Today 1 in 3 U.S. children is substantially overweight or obese. America’s adults are paying more attention to their diets, but statistics show that U.S. kids are the biggest they’ve ever been. Childhood obesity has doubled in just the past two decades! It’s now the most prevalent but preventable nutritional disease in the U.S. T.V. food advertising especially targets kids with an ever widening array of chemical-laced, genetically altered foods, and junky foods with too much fat, salt, sugar and calories. Some kids eat out of a box most of the time! U.S. schools have dropped the ball for children’s health, too, offering kids more fatty, nutrient-starved meals and less physical exercise.  Our high tech age saturates today’s kids with computers, T.V.’s, cell phones and video games - but much less active playtime, exercise and outdoor play than any previous generation. P.E. classes in U.S. schools, most sports and many extra-curricular activities have been dropped, and our kids are paying the price. Most kids attend only 1 or 2 physical education classes a week. Forty percent of boys 6-12 can’t even touch their toes; American girls actually run slower today than they did 10 years ago. P.E. teachers have been reassigned to other classes in seventy-five percent of U.S. schools. Today’s kids watch up to 28 hours of TV a week. By the time U.S. kids reach their senior high school year, they’ve spent over 3 years of their lives watching TV.

Even more alarming, heart disease is now traceable to early childhood. U.S. doctors are discovering that many American teens (even some 3 year olds) already have fatty deposits on their coronary arteries. And, type 2 diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in overweight kids. Today’s kids rely on junky snack foods. Children are rewarded with food for good behavior or denied food for punishment from an early age. As they grow older, kids tend to continue that cycle by rewarding themselves with salty, sugary, fatty snacks, soft drinks, and nitrate-loaded lunch meats before parents even come home from work.

Overweight children face early degenerative diseases, low self-Esteem, depression and rejection by peers. Getting weight problems under control at an early age is critical for later health. If a child’s extra weight hangs on through teenage years, there’s a 77% likelihood they will be overweight as adults. But, crash diets aren’t the answer.  Changing the focus to health, to having a fit body instead of a thin body can make all the difference in managing weight. Kids need mineral-rich building foods, fiber-rich energy foods, and protein-rich growth foods. A light detox can start a good weight control program for an overweight child, who usually has toxic overload from too many chemicalized foods. A gentle detox normalizes body chemistry.

My JUNK FOOD DETOX for KIDS is a 3 day diet. Avoid highly processed, junky foods, red meats and dairy foods, except yogurt during this detox. On rising: give the child citrus juice with 1 teaspoon of acidophilus liquid, or a glass of lemon juice and water with honey or maple syrup. Breakfast: offer the child fresh fruits, especially apples, pineapple, papaya or oranges. Add vanilla yogurt or rice milk if desired. Mid-morning: give the child fresh carrot juice. Add ¼ tsp. ascorbate vitamin C or Ester C crystals to neutralize body toxins. Lunch: give the child fresh raw crunchy veggies with a yogurt dip; or a fresh veggie salad with lemon/oil or yogurt dressing. Mid-afternoon: offer a refreshing herb tea, such as licorice or peppermint tea with honey. Dinner: give a fresh salad, with avocados, carrots, kiwi, romaine and other high vitamin A foods; and/or a cup of miso soup or other clear broth soup. Before bed: offer a relaxing herb tea, like chamomile tea. Add ¼ tsp. vitamin C or Ester C crystals; or a cup of Miso broth for strength.

Once the light detox is over, begin a healthy diet. Breakfast is a key for weight loss for kids. A high fiber breakfast cuts a child’s calories by up to 200 calories a day and holds appetite until lunchtime. Add fresh plant, enzyme-rich foods to the child’s daily diet.

To Life-long health,

Linda Page