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BREAKING NEWS

Daily News Editorial

By Staff | May 27, 2010

Summer is a great time for munching on snacks, drinking pop and sitting in front of the TV, right?

Wrong!

Summer is a good time for parents to teach their children healthy eating and exercise habits.

If you don’t think that’s important, just this week U.S. military leaders called childhood obesity a national security issue. It appears that more recruits than ever can’t pass the muster because they’re too fat to fight.

Obesity starts at a far younger age than that. Nationally, about a third of elementary-aged children are judged to be overweight or obese.

It’s those habits children learn at an early age that follow them through their lifetimes. Type II diabetes, once considered a problem in older adults, is now plaguing children as well.

Following are some tips on how you can help your children live healthier and longer lives.

First, shut off the TV and the computer. Sure, you’re going to hear some whining, but if you take the kids out to the lake for swimming, camping, fishing or hiking, you’ll create experiences that will last a lifetime. What’s a kid going to remember more – playing a video game or playing at the lake with Mom and Dad.

Second, demonstrate healthy eating and exercise habits to your children. If you think the best way to end the day is to come home from work and plop down in your easy chair and crack open a cold one and watch reality shows all night, you’re demonstrating a bad habit to your kids. Instead, take them out to the local ballfield 6to play catch, take them to the park to throw around a disc or take them to a miniature golf course. And provide healthy, balanced meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Finally, stay consistent in enforcing a healthy eating and exercise regimen for your kids.

At a young age, kids probably have a “so-what” attitude about healthy eating and exercise. Unfortunately, so do their parents.

However, healthy eating and exercise habits now will make a far healthier and longer life.