Skip to main content

Family Nutrition: Talkin' bout our Generation...

As many of you know I'm a dietitian.  I've been a dietitian for fourteen years and recently started my own practice.  In addition, I'm a mom of two preschoolers and a wife.  I love my job and am so happy that I worked so hard to start my practice.  It gives me flexibility even with the added stress and it challenges me from a professional growth standpoint, as a mother, and a wife.

I see clients who range from pediatric to geriatric and I'm reminded every day that frankly, life is hard. For some of my clients insurance covers my services but for many it is an out of pocket cost that is fairly expensive.  Add the expense to the added stress that comes with our generation and it's a lot to take.  Which brings me to a point about our generation.

We've all heard it.  Our kids will be the first generation who will not out live their parents because of the "obesity" epidemic.  I see many pediatric children who are overweight or obese and I also see a lot of families struggling with making smart choices at the grocery store or making dinners at night.  In fact, many can't even sit down for dinner anymore.

According to a publication from the Journal of American Medicine in 2010, 43% of families eat together every night.  Of those 43% of families, 33% say the TV is always on, 27% state the TV is on half the time, and 5% admit someone is texting, emailing, or on their cell phone during the family meal.

This boggles my mind!  Our generation complains of being so busy and lacking the resources we need to tackle obesity and disease prevention yet our priorities seem to be keeping up with the latest technological applications.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012 printed that 48% of married couples have a dual income and 77% of all couples have two or more incomes.  This statistic may prove that preparing dinners is much different than years ago.  From 1969-1996 alone, there was an 84% rise in working married women with children.  Simply put, we do not live in a time when dinner is prepared and ready for the worker bee or perhaps, even our children.

Even with the statistics above we are still making confusing choices.  In a time when most families have to have a dual income we force ourselves to run our kids to their numerous sports, dance, and other activities right in the smack of, you guessed it, dinnertime.  We decide we don't have enough time to plan and prepare for dinner so we purchase fast food.  We notice that our families are gaining weight because we don't have time to "play outside" anymore but we just can't make an appropriate change.

What the heck is wrong with our generation?  I hear about and witness a lot of people who are struggling and complaining and I have to wonder, are we doing it to ourselves?

How much more time would it take to plan out meals for the week to avoid last minute visits to fast food?  Do your children really need to do two or three activities at a time?  Puberty does wonders and sometimes it doesn't matter how good your child is at a sport at eight or nine.  They just might not reach the height potential for basketball, or their breasts may make it too hard for them to be a sprinter.  Hey it's life. 

What if you even cut activites down to one and saved some money and hired someone to start your family dinners instead?  What if you turned off your cell phone, TV, or stopped texting during dinner and actually focused on how the dinner tasted, why vegetables are important, or what an appropriate portion looks like? After all the most important people in your life, your immediate family, are sitting right in front of you.  What could you possibly be missing on TV that is more important?

Times are changing and priorities need to shift. Our generation is so obsessed with being the perfect "un-nuclear" family that we're missing the point.  For 2013 I challenge you to make the shift.  Focus on family dinners.  Plan and prepare meals that are good for your family.  Go outside to play. Make that big nutritious Sunday dinner and be a healthy example for your kids.  I've seen some amazing transformations in 2012 and I can't wait to see more in 2013.  What are you going to change in 2013?


Cohen Ilan said…
I wonder how many still unknown dangers are already out there. As with unhealthy food, the risks are usually unknown until it's almost too late.

Popular posts from this blog

The Truth Behind Clean Eating

A quick trip to the grocery store or chain restaurant and you will likely be bombarded with the concept of “clean eating” foods that claim to be “organic”, “natural”, “non GMO”, and “gluten free”. There is also the laundry list of foods you should avoid such as high fructose corn syrup, processed foods, and various toxins or chemicals. As a consumer it can be very overwhelming and intimidating to choose which foods are best for you.
While clean eating is not a new sensation, it has become increasingly popular in part due to misinformation on social media. Fear mongering is the latest marketing strategy in which companies are deliberately arousing fear in consumers to help sell their product. For example, products claim to be non-GMO when in fact it is not produced as a GMO food in the first place. There are only 8 genetically modified crops commercially prepared in the U.S. Products that have never contained gluten have a “Gluten free” label on them. Then there is the irrational conce…

A Note to Self before "Bathing Suit Season"

We are coming up on Memorial Day Weekend. The pools will open, beach season begins, and everyone is scurrying around to buy new bathing suits or cover ups. Although I LOVE summer there's an aspect of this time of year that I very much dislike.  I absolutely cannot stand the insecurity bathing suits bring to the mind. How many of your friends' Facebook and Instagram posts read "Gotta get bikini ready" or "I'm not ready for bathing suit season?" It's on everyone's minds and we have much better things to worry about people.

The fact of the matter is that MOST people feel vulnerable in a bathing suit. Think about it you are practically naked and I'm pretty sure the woman whose body modeled your final product may have had longer legs or is 15 years old.

Is it really worth allowing yourself to feel vulnerable and insecure over something that realistically isn't even created to showcase your body's strengths?  What in the world does how yo…

You are what you eat BUT it takes longer than a day!

Recent research by Cornell University published a week ago in the New England Journal of Medicine proves that holiday weight gain does happen and most of it is from October to about ten days after Christmas.  The study analyzed 3,000 individuals over a years time focusing on daily weights that were collected and analyzed by a wireless Withings Scale.

Although the average weight gain from October to November was only 1.3 pounds this may prove that holiday weight gain is not a myth. Of interest, the study also showed that fifty percent lost the weight shortly after the holiday season while it took the other fifty percent about five months to lose the excess weight, shortly after Easter.
Author Dr. Wansink advises “Instead of a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, have an October resolution not to gain too much weight in the first place. Then you won’t have to worry about five months of struggling."
At Kindred Nutrition we tend to agree with Dr. Wansink's advice.  Our society is s…