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R is for Responsible for My Body

In recent weeks I have introduced you to the SOAR concept when it comes to raising healthy, happy kids — Supported, Optimistic, Active and Achieving, and today’s focus, Responsible.

Scripture tells us that we are responsible to offer our bodies to God as a living sacrifice. We need to view our bodies as a valuable resource for God’s purposes in the world. In addition, we are to align our thoughts, priorities, and values not according to the pattern of this world but according to God’s will. These are lofty goals. We need to model them as adults so we can teach them to our children. We must show our children — not merely tell our children — how to act as responsible citizens in God’s kingdom.

Our bodies are complex systems that God has designed to operate optimally under some pretty straightforward, simple rules, applicable to every child:

  • Eat healthy — natural fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and proteins should be the staples of your child’s diet.
  • Get proper supplementation — begin in childhood to set the pattern of taking a good, absorbable multivitamin and mineral formula.
  • Drink water — growing bodies needs lots of clean, pure water.
  • Play hard — physical activity in childhood prepares the body for an active adulthood.
  • Rest well — children need good sleep and a soothing restful environment in which to rest and fall asleep each night.

Yes, they are simple, common-sense directives that all of us know, but the vast majority of us do not make good on these promises to our bodies and, in turn, the growing bodies of our children.

Remember that for the optimum health of your child, you need to actively partner with a pediatrician, ideally one who appreciates the whole-person approach to wellness. This partnership is invaluable! I realize many people move from place to place or even state to state, which can make health care continuity difficult. If you do not have a primary care physician for your child, I urge you to locate one and commit to regular checkups. Again, this is especially important if your child is significantly overweight and/or underfit. Your child needs medical supervision, and you need emotional and intellectual backup for the positive changes being implemented within your family.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~Romans 12:1-2

SOURCE: Chapter 6, “R is for Responsible for My Body,” in Healthy Habits, Healthy Kid: A Practical Plan to Help Your Family by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.

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