News Views: A gift for them

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology wants children to move more and sit less, essentially, so they won’t become fat.

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology wants children to move more and sit less, essentially, so they won’t become fat.

The group wants them to grow up healthy and this past week released what it says are the first guidelines for the “early years.”

Not surprisingly, they call for less screen time – TV, laptops, iPods and smart phones.

No doubt, kids today spend a lot of time staring a such screens – watching videos and playing games, browsing and texting.

But many are also very active – walking to and from school, playing hockey, soccer, baseball, lacrosse or rugby, taking part in track and field, martial arts or dance. They ride bikes, roller blade and skate board. They stroll the streets with friends.

Still, many are overweight.

The main reason isn’t so much screen time as it is what they put into their bodies: sugar and fat. And it’s not just pizza and pop, hamburgers and fries, chips, donuts or cookies. So-called sport drinks can contain as much sugar as a slushee. Specialty coffees and hot chocolate are also loaded with calories, as is a bagel with cream cheese.

We consume such products despite healthy eating programs devised and promoted by our provincial government, even though we know better.

We do so out of convenience, and because many items that aren’t healthy taste good.

So have a little, not a lot, and not often.

Families are busy, but still have time to shop. So don’t buy a big bag of chips, or a flat of pop, Buy more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Grow lettuce and berries out of pots on your back deck.

Turn off the TV, the video game console, take away the iPods and cell phones, cook and eat together, as a family, even if only once or twice a week. It’s a good habit to get into, as is going for a walk, or gardening, cleaning the house.

People are busy, but they can also be lazy. Start by setting a good example for your kids, and hopefully they’ll develop the healthy habits the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology so desires for them.

All it takes it will.

Consider it a gift – their health.

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News