I recently learned a nasty lesson about the abundance of “food deserts” — areas that are far from larger stores offering affordable fruits and vegetables. I had no idea that some families had to prepare meals from items gathered at a convenience store.
I also learned about a small gardening area that a homeless shelter offered residents. It was barely half a block and as many as 12 families had a plot in which to grow their own food. Think about it: half a block, 12 families — an opportunity. In fact, the American Heart Association has launched Teaching Gardens across the country to help combat childhood obesity.
Does your child have access to nutritious food? One in three children is overweight or obese. As an overweight adult who wasn’t an obese child, I have huge concerns for my own children.
We tend to feed our kids what they want instead of what they need. The result is often an obese adult. My husband and I make it a point to offer our kids healthy foods (and I think we’re doing a better job than our parents), but my kids still get way more junk than they should.
The next piece of the puzzle is exercise. Summers meant going outdoors early and returning only when the dinner call came. I made up my own games, ran, walked and climbed trees. And I’m still an overweight adult. I know my kids need to do more than just play outside. I want them to understand all the pieces they need to stay healthy.
Every family’s approach to nutrition and exercise is different, but the bottom line is that the American Heart Association’s Teaching Gardens are one big step toward a healthier nation.
Guest Blogger: Jerri Ann Reason
Jerri Ann Reason currently works as the Editorial and Community Director for Murphy USA’s blog, The Smarter Driver as well as for Label Daddy. She was chosen to represent Alabama for Mom Congress by Parenting Magazine in 2011 and was a speaker at the same conference in 2012.
Her Blog: Mom~E~Centric
The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.
The American Heart Association’s blog is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment. Only your healthcare provider can provide that. The American Heart Association recommends that you consult your healthcare provider regarding your personal health matters. If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or another emergency, please call 911 immediately.