Healthy Lifestyle Habits Help Prevent Colon Cancer in Kids
We are great parents. Our kids are smart – making As and Bs in magnet schools. Our kids are talented – cheerleader, youth choir and drama club. Our kids are beautiful – Chris has to have the shotgun ready for the dating years. Our kids know God – youth ministry since they could walk. But if you asked me, are my children are physically fit and colon healthy, I suppose I would say “yes.” … I guess? Healthy lifestyles in adults can prevent many kinds of illnesses. So is there a way to apply these same lifestyle habits to children? Absolutely!
Before you call the DCS, let me explain my thoughts. Our children are well taken care of. They receive three meals and two snacks every day. My husband, Chris, or I cook most nights. We take them to the doctor and dentist whenever the need arises. But let’s be honest, our fitness level isn’t the best. We spend so much time concentrating on keeping the roof over their heads and making sure they get the right education and extracurricular activities that quite often the family fitness goes on the back burner. Unfortunately, that has to change.
Did you know children with a body mass index (BMI) in the 85 percentile are considered overweight or obese; therefore, they have a 50 percent higher chance of developing colon cancer in adulthood compared to children with a BMI less than 85, according to research from Tel Aviv University.
I don’t think parents are intentionally falling down on the job. When family workouts are weighted against studying more or playing outside, normally we lean towards studying more. But studies show that eating high fiber foods and exercising regularly can help prevent cancer in everyone, including kids. We have the high fiber diet down pat. It’s the exercising part that is hard. So, I had to do a bit of research. I consulted with a trainer in my area who gave me a few tips for raising healthy kids – and his advice was right on target with the Prevention Cancer Foundation.
- Only allow W.O.M. (water orange juice or milk) in your home. Cut out all of the sugary drinks and only allow water, orange juice and milk in the house.
- Eat on dessert plates. If you use smaller plates you eat smaller portions. Also limit the availability of junk food and sweets. If it’s not there, it’s not an option.
- Don’t plan workouts. Plan fun activities. Fly a kite. Ride a bike. Play games that require physical interaction on the Wii. Look for activities that get your family moving for at least one hour of daily moderate to vigorous physical activity. The key is to make the physical activity not feel like a chore.
- Go meatless 2-3 times per week. Encourage your child to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Make sure kids eat breakfast!
So we’ve started incorporating a few of the tips into our family routine. But the number one thing we look for are changes in our daughters’ digestive systems. If there are any changes in their “waste” or appetites, we are asking lots of questions. We also are aware that the kids will need to be screened 10 years earlier than when Chris was diagnosed.
While our focus is totally on prevention of colon cancer – or any kind of cancer – in our kids, Chris is keeping lots of notes about his chemo and his reaction to the medications. That’s one notebook that I pray we never have to open.BMI in children, children BMI, determining BMI, exercise and colon cancer, getting screened for colon cancer, going meatless, healthy lifestyles in kids and adults, high fiber diet, high fiber foods, measuring fitness levels in kids, preventing colon cancer in kids, preventing obesity in children, Prevention Cancer Foundation, Prevention Info, tips for raising healthy kids, when is a child considered obese or overweight