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  1. #1
    Hapromeen56's Avatar
    Hapromeen56 is offline Junior Member
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    I am concerned about the kids

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    After babysitting for my sister for a week, I feel absolutely terrified about the future of our country. Honestly, it seems like states are ranking extremely low in education and even though the school did not have enough money to keep P.E, they serve fries, burgers, and pizza every at lunch. Did I mention that there is apparently a soda and snack machine everywhere too?

    She has two kids who do nothing all day but sit at school, and when they come home they park on the couch and do nothing. They watch television, surf the Internet, or play videogames. I swear to you that I think the oldest one gets winded just walking from the bus to couch.

    I am scared that this is only going to get worse before it ever gets better, do you have any similar experiences? Any ideas on how I should try to approach the subject? I am sure that if I told my sister about it in a straightforward manner she would tell me to mind my beeswax. I would really appreciate any feedback from you that you could provide.

  2. #2
    Crabbcakes's Avatar
    Crabbcakes is offline Senior Member
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    I have four kids, feel the way you do, and here it is from me, straight:

    Don't ever lecture the sister - I wouldn't want it, either, no matter how truthful. You just be the aunt/uncle (don't know which you are) who opens their eyes to good food tastes by quietly serving them delicious real food without any fuss. Just answer questions simply. Over time, they WILL remember, just because it is out of the ordinary for them.

    Then, just as quietly, find something enjoyable to do together that just happens to be outdoors. I assume you must love these kids, or you wouldn't be so worked up about them, but enjoying them as people must come first. Then, the love gets all smooshed together with all the fun stuff you do/did outdoors, and those happy memories of coincidentally moving around will hopefully get them outdoors in time. It might take quite a few tries to hit the magic spot with each of them, as they are different people, after all. If all else fails, try outdoor photography - technology combined with sunshine and fresh air!

    I remind you again - they are not your kids, so NO lecturing! You must lead by example and love. You never know what demons you are secretly in combat with: everything from mommy's bad habits to the government food plate being taught at school, to kid talk about body issues and then the media... so no talk. YOU be the lean, happy, healthy, friendly example in their lives. The rest is up to them - truly.
    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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    coming home one night, i ran into a neighbor who is a mom of 2 and keeps the whole family as lacto-ovo vegetarians. she looked harried and it was approaching 8:00. she was eating cheetos and told me her husband had called to say there was no food in the house so could she pick up something on her way? she didn't feel like cooking so picked up cheetos. for dinner. for herself, her husband and 2 kids under the age of 4. i begged her to take some of the eggs i had at home. "nah, that's ok." yes, i judged. let's hope that was a one-off?

    we were walking around an outdoor, outlet center in freeport, maine a few weekends ago and there were some teenaged girls entering a store right with us. one overweight girl was huffing and puffing and collapsed into a chair. "i don't think i can keep walking around much more." it was not yet noon and the stores had only opened at 10. the town is small and flat -- it's not like you have to scramble to ambulate. not long after, we saw them all on a bench eating fried dough. none of these girl were even 20. yuk.

    op: i don't know if your nieces and nephews remain of normal weight? if so, they all likely don't perceive the danger and the future.
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    Ernest Hemingway

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    Mr. Anthony's Avatar
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    I totally think the health of future generations is in the crapper.

    But I also coach 30 female gymnasts between the ages of 8 and 16, all of whom are ripped and can do more pullups and pushups than all of the boys in their school, so there's that at least. I do what I can when we have our nutrition information talks.

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    noodletoy's Avatar
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    i am always blown away by the strength of those tiny bullets.
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    Ernest Hemingway

  6. #6
    Crabbcakes's Avatar
    Crabbcakes is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
    I totally think the health of future generations is in the crapper.

    But I also coach 30 female gymnasts between the ages of 8 and 16, all of whom are ripped and can do more pullups and pushups than all of the boys in their school, so there's that at least. I do what I can when we have our nutrition information talks.

    Sent via lightsaber
    I conditionally disagree. I live in poor farm country, and the boys, at least, look good - they all either have a farm or get summer jobs at one, so get a lot of hard work in. And I have seen a lot of Mormon elders and sister missionaries from the mountain states, and they almost always were lean and strong. I think it depends what micropopulation you are seeing at any moment, but fit Americans are still to be found.
    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

  7. #7
    banananutmuffin's Avatar
    banananutmuffin is offline Senior Member
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    I agree with crabbcakes. Keep your opinions to yourself.

    I have three kids. We homeschool. Right now, at 11am, my two eldest kids are outside in fresh air, feeding our chickens, running around the yard, and climbing in their swing set (baby is nursing). My kids are all normal weight to thin, and enjoy a steady diet of bacon, eggs, beef, and fruit (we are working on more veggies). Despite this, my kids do spend a few hours a day watching tv or using electronics.

    I would be annoyed as hell if someone told me my kids were unhealthy because of their screen time or the bacon they eat. I have a vegetarian friend with kids who constantly implies that meat is unhealthy and she would never feed her kids beef. She knows very well what we eat, and I want to punch her every time she says it.

    That said, my vegetarian friend's kids are also lean, extremely active, and seem healthy. In my area of the USA, the majority of the kids are lean or normal weight. A small fraction is overweight, and an even smaller number is obese.
    Female, 40 yrs old, 5', 120 lbs (post-pregnancy)
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    edennperez1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crabbcakes View Post
    I have four kids, feel the way you do, and here it is from me, straight:

    Don't ever lecture the sister - I wouldn't want it, either, no matter how truthful. You just be the aunt/uncle (don't know which you are) who opens their eyes to good food tastes by quietly serving them delicious real food without any fuss. Just answer questions simply. Over time, they WILL remember, just because it is out of the ordinary for them.

    Then, just as quietly, find something enjoyable to do together that just happens to be outdoors. I assume you must love these kids, or you wouldn't be so worked up about them, but enjoying them as people must come first. Then, the love gets all smooshed together with all the fun stuff you do/did outdoors, and those happy memories of coincidentally moving around will hopefully get them outdoors in time. It might take quite a few tries to hit the magic spot with each of them, as they are different people, after all. If all else fails, try outdoor photography - technology combined with sunshine and fresh air!

    I remind you again - they are not your kids, so NO lecturing! You must lead by example and love. You never know what demons you are secretly in combat with: everything from mommy's bad habits to the government food plate being taught at school, to kid talk about body issues and then the media... so no talk. YOU be the lean, happy, healthy, friendly example in their lives. The rest is up to them - truly.
    This!!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Marks Daily Apple Forum

  9. #9
    Jenna H's Avatar
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    In the case of the specific, leading by example sounds like the way to go unless there is a serious medical condition.

    In the general case, I think the health of kids is going downhill, but that's the national trend as a whole. Government has worked with Big Agriculture and for real change we need to change the culture. That's not easy and it doesn't happen with lectures. First, people have to decide that the extra effort in food prep and cooking is worth it, and then they have to be able to devote the time and money to it.

    That said, I do think computers, TVs and video games need to be limited so kids are more active and using their imaginations more, and parents can definitely work on that. Not saying that all electronic time is evil, just that it needs to be a small part of the day, not the entire afternoon and evening.

  10. #10
    zoebird's Avatar
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    I'm a mom and an aunt.

    I don't take kindly to unsolicited advice (or veiled criticism), and I don't offer it to other moms. I particularly don't offer it to my sister. There are things that she does in her child rearing that I disagree with or think are not healthy, but that's none of my business.

    When her kids are with me, I feed them what she sends (if anything), and they have unlimited access to fruit and veggies as well as deviled or hard boiled eggs. But, we try to go outside to have fun, or do something active in the house if we can't go out.

    End of the day, you can only influence them when you are with them -- and outside of that, leave it be. They might discover that they really like a given activity with you, and then want to do that activity more.

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