Are We Kidding Ourselves About How Healthy Our Kids Are?

Confession: I've taken my daughter to Burger King way too much in the last month. Not healthy! I was just reviewing my online bank statement and was surprised at how many times the fast food chain showed up in the debit purchases. I know it's bad, but it's been so easy to stop and grab dinner there when we're out and about this summer. I just hadn't realized how often we were doing it until seeing it in black and white.

Parents not accurately assessing what their kids are eating or how often they're active is pretty common, according to some recent research. KJ Dell'Antonia's recent Motherlode blog post is chock full of stats about how wrong we are: 75 percent of parents say their kids get "enough" active play time, but only 41 percent say their kids participate in active play daily; one third of parents with overweight children think their weight is just fine even though it's not; and parents drastically underestimate the amount of time their kids spend on electronic devices. Of course, we're also bad at estimating these things for ourselves.

We all want to lead healthy lives and set up our kids to be healthy for life, too, but instituting and enforcing screen time rules, food rules, and activity rules—not to mention badgering kids about completing homework, cleaning their rooms, doing their chores, taking a bath, brushing their teeth, and the thousand other things we are supposed to teach our kids to do—can feel overwhelmimg and impossible. Of course, we also have to do all these things for ourselves, most of us while managing a career, too. It's enough to make you want to just pull the blanket over your head and hide.

Now that I've seen the too-often Burger King dinners on my bank statement, though, I can't un-see them. It's time to figure out a healthier "fast" food option. My daughter deserves it.

Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer who would hire a personal chef if she could afford it. Check out Ellen's new Etsy shop and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

Healthy eating is the foundation of a healthy life. Here is how you can raise nutrition-smart kids.

Image via Shutterstock

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