It’s That Time of Year!Posted by Alexis
Thursday September 13, 2012
Categories: Family, GENYOUth, Opinion
The past couple of weeks have felt like a roller coaster ride. We moved back to the city after a brief stint at the beach. Our three boys started school. Our hot water heater broke. Our babysitter developed a terrible case of food poisoning. Jade thankfully spent the past week in a BabyBjorn nestled in for conference calls, iPhone texts and Blackberry emails. She’s a CEO in training!
Oh and let us not forget that travel soccer started for our 8 year old Kyle. For Logan (10) and Slate (5), hockey started, too.
Do you remember those Calgon commercials with the mother in the tub saying, “Take Me Away!”? I think about that every time my heads feels like it is going to explode. I’m not sure if my husband and I were in the same town last weekend. I suspect this weekend will be no different.
Nonetheless, even in the midst of chaos, we are super proud of our boys. Logan is now in middle school. He’s officially no longer my little boy. Moving from class to class studying on an iPad for a new school program. In my next life!
Kyle is now in 3rd grade and as handsome as ever. His smile melts my heart. He started playing travel soccer for the first time. He loves it and I couldn’t be happier to see him so excited! He had four days of soccer in the past five days. I used to play too, but I forgot how bloody hot it is on the fields at the start of the season.
Slate, my little angel and my baby, started Kindergarten this week. He had the perfect first day. The only time he cried was when he had to go to lunch. Apparently he didn’t like the lunch food. Little does he know :). He’s grown up and yet he’ll always be my little boy. He is so smart. Asks the best questions and forgives me for being a crazed mom. He would love mom to toss the Blackberry but I remind him daily that mommy needs to work.
Speaking of work, did you know that September is Childhood Obesity Awareness month? It comes at the most hectic and important time of year. A reminder to all of us moms, dads and caregivers to make sure our children are getting the nourishment they need and at least sixty minutes a day of physical activity to keep their little minds flourishing.
It is this Learning Connection that we are focusing on this month at GENYOUth. Did you know that children who are physically active and properly nourished are better academic performers, behave better, attend school more frequently and are less susceptible to bullying? Scientists, nutritionists, fitness experts and educators have been studying this Learning Connection for decades.
Next week my team is hosting the Nutrition + Physical Activity Learning Connection Summit in Washington D.C., alongside some of the most preeminent leaders in health, science, nutrition, education, government and corporate America. The purpose of this Summit is to draw attention to this Learning Connection and build awareness among school administrators and leaders in both the public and private sectors. It is also meant to be a forum of sorts, for all of those folks in the room and outside to identify ways in which we could develop solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic by giving back, generating awareness, volunteering or creating new solutions to get our kids healthy over the next 30 to 90 days and beyond.
I know some folks will read this and say it is not the government’s job or my job to tell you how to raise your kids, what they should eat or how often they should be physically active. As a mother I understand that better than anyone. I wouldn’t want someone else to tell me how to raise my kids. I’m not suggesting our kids only eat carrots or become neurotic about their weight. Heaven knows I can barely get my kids to even taste a carrot!
My concern is that too many of our nation’s schools are cutting back due to fiscal constraints at the local and state levels. The first place those cuts are being made is in our kids’ time for recess or physical education, and if it’s not impacting physical activity programs, it’s impacting our cafeterias, our vending machines and our snack time.
Did you know that some children in this country eat lunch at 10:30am, while others eat at 2pm? Do you know how much time your kid has to get through the lunch line? Do you know how many days a week your kid goes to recess? Has gym class? These are the questions I am now asking my children and encouraging other parents to ask as well.
At GENYOUth, we encourage and empower youth to make their own decisions by equipping them with the resources they need to understand what foods are healthy for their bodies and why. We’re also helping them understand why being physically active helps them learn, play, imagine, dream and make new friends.
For many of us parents, sports, music, and other team activities we participated in as kids at school taught us valuable lessons that we continue to apply as adults today. We developed life habits as a result of those experiences. I don’t know about you, but when I run, take a spin class or get on an exercise machine for an hour, my mind races. I always come up with my best ideas when I’m physically active. I can feel my brain exercising. It’s an incredible feeling. Don’t our kids deserve to feel that every day?
As you make your way through this very busy September, please join me in this movement. Our children are and can be the best advocates for change, but they need our help. Let’s demonstrate to them how little changes can make a difference of a lifetime.
If you would like to learn more about our Summit next week, please click here.