Today I was reading about the case of a 3-year-old, 77-pound Houston girl diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Three years young!!!! I know there are many things in this world that build us up and many others that break our heart. I am heartbroken.
As I wonder about the circumstances that landed an innocent toddler in this predicament I need to speak up. I need to say those things that are taboo in parent world. And for the sake of our kids I hope some will listen up.
What we put in our children’s plate, lunch box, schools, sight, hands and ultimately in their mouths will make or break them. I know it can be difficult but we need to try harder. We need to make this a priority. We need to stop with the excuses and try harder.
It is not harmless to allow your child to have sodas or juices every other day. It is not harmless to offer donuts for breakfast on a regular basis. It is not harmless to celebrate every milestone with a buffet of sweet treats and junk food. These things have a very negative impact in our children’s well-being. And these are the things we are teaching them.
I know every child is different. I know every family is different. I know it is up to each parent or care giver to raise their child as they see fit. But I also know we are grossly underestimating the impact a poor diet has on our youth and their future. I am reminded of this everyday by cases like the one of this toddler who suffered from type 2 diabetes and the many children that are about to follow suit.
If you think your children are exempt from this fate, think again. We are in the brink of watching this generation suffer from poorer health and shorter lives than the previous.
As I look at my two beautiful boys my heart if filled with love, joy, hope and sadness. Sadness for all the things I won’t be able to protect them from. Sadness for all the times they will suffer and I won’t be able to prevent it. I am sad because I can not guarantee their lives will be without pain. Yes sometimes looking at my children I feel sad, but you know what else I feel? Determination
I am determined to take charge of the things I can take charge of in order to give then a leg up. I am determined to help them build a healthy body, mind and spirit. I am determined to show them they can also take charge. I am determined to be the adult they need me to be so they have a chance to become the adult they are destined to be.
Today I respectfully and lovingly urge you to do the same. Because you can. Because it is worth it. Because it matters. All the frustration, headaches, preparation and time will pay off. For all the effort you relentlessly put every day of being a parent I applaud you.
So when you feel like you just can’t do anymore, do more. When you feel you just can’t do it, do it. When you think it’s a lost battle, try harder and fight for your child. Because nothing is worse than the heartbreak of a sick child.