Healthy hearts start in the classroom or the home?

So you don’t need to conduct an intricate study or produce a detailed list of statistics to see that this country is struggling with obesity. Our children are becoming larger and diabetes, along with many other health-related diseases, keeps growing at a rapid rate.

While I was sitting at my computer this morning catching up on what’s happening around the world, I happened to come across an article talking about the lack of nutrition in school lunches across the country. The article brought up the issue of how hard it is to try and incorporate healthy foods in the daily menu. With organic and whole foods sweeping the market, the cost is becoming a little bit more affordable and the products a little more accessible. Therefore, having these types of quality foods is becoming more of an option for schools. However, when it comes to choosing pizza or salad there is no contest. It seems that most of the kids want the slice of cheese and pepperoni!

Now I have to say I agree with this article. The fight to put healthy food items in school cafeterias is alive and well. But how far can it go if the consumer doesn’t want it? That’s why I ask, “Do healthy hearts start in the classroom or the home?”

I am a true advocate for education in the home. Parents can be a tremendous asset when it comes to nutritional knowledge. For me, this topic is one that I can personally relate to. I grew up in a household that had terrible eating habits! We would go out to dinner at least 4 times a week, and engross ourselves with whatever our hearts (rather tummies) desired! But, when I was around 11-years-old, my mother decided to turn things around. She wanted a healthy family. She was afraid that if we stayed on this path, the entire family would be heading for trouble.

After reading a couple of books, and looking through various magazines, the journey began! Instead of turning on the TV and lounging out across the couch, because we had yet another tummy ache after dinner. We started cooking meals (What a concept!). If I would have paid better attention I would have noticed that a lot of the stuff we started to have – fruits, veggies, protein, and whole grains – were many of the same things you would see in health class (Remember the food pyramid?) I also found that we started to have a lot more energy and started to become much more active. Not to mention many of the stomach aches were gone!

To this day I try to incorporate these healthy eating habits into my daily life. I find that by eating healthy, I have a lot more energy and therefore can be more productive throughout the day. I do admit that some days are definitely harder than others… Hey we all need a little Chunky Monkey every now and then! But overall, I do believe that having a healthy lifestyle can not only assist your heart, but it can enhance your mind, body, and soul. If it weren’t for learning this stuff at home, who knows if I ever would have paid attention to that funny looking pyramid diagram in school?