The “Almost” War On Pizza

SONY DSC We live in a fast food, fake food, junk food world, and pizza has become our default. It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s cheap. Our nations’ kids are getting sicker and sicker, and that’s not changing anytime soon. It’s what I call, “ The Pizza Trap”, and for many parents it looks like this…

We get home at 6 o’clock from work or taking care of the kids and we’re exhausted, so we pop a pizza in the oven or call for takeout. As parents, we know we can be doing more, that we should be putting something green on their plate, but we tell ourselves we’ll just do it later.

The “later” that finally gets our attention is when our nine year old is diagnosed with Type II diabetes, high cholesterol or heart disease.

Now, actual research from the Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics shows that pizza has a similar effect as that of sugary drinks on a kids’ diet, and that pizza “should become a target for counseling for the prevention and treatment of obesity in pediatric practice.”

What does this mean to us as parents? It means that pizza is now directly recognized as a contributor to childhood obesity.

Does this mean your child is going to become obese from eating one piece of pizza a week? No. But other research shows that the average child is consuming fast- food pizza several days out of the week, and more than one piece is being consumed in a sitting. Even worse, the meal isn’t being balanced out with the necessary vegetables, like a salad or broccoli. Contrary to popular belief, pizza does not count as a vegetable just because it has tomato sauce (unfortunately, our government recently stated that it is)!

What’s a parent to do?

Here are three ways to avoid falling into THE PIZZA TRAP:

  1. Take ownership: what are you making more important than your kids, your most precious asset? Be the example you want for your kids. If you’re preaching about the dangers of junk food and they see you drinking soda all day or find fast food bags in your car, you’ve lost all credibility. Let them see you eating the way you want them to eat.
  1. Provide structure: it’s up to us as adults to teach kids how life works. We teach them about bullying, and the health dangers of sex, drugs and alcohol, so why aren’t we teaching them about the health dangers of junk food and pizza? Choose to eat at home where you can control both the quantity and quality of what your child eats. Don’t let a child who isn’t old enough to tie their own shoes make decisions about what they’re going to put in their mouth several times a day.
  1. Don’t be a nutritional wimp: Don’t be afraid to say “NO”. Food education is the key to their health as well. It might not be convenient, but it’s necessary.  You want your kids to be “streetwise” about everything that’s a potential danger to them; this includes food! Talk to your kids. Teach them to read labels  and what to look out for and what to avoid.

 

For more ways on how to avoid falling into The Pizza Trap, you can watch my most recent FOX segment here:

http://www.myfoxhouston.com/clip/11067644/how-to-get-your-kids-out-of-the-pizza-trap

Ready to get your family out of The Pizza Trap? Order your copy of my best- selling book, The Pizza Trap, here on Amazon.

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