Today's children are part of the first generation not expected to live as long as their parents.
It's a scary statistic that often comes up during talks about the childhood obesity epidemic the nation and families are facing.
What's to blame? Experts point the fingers at oversized portions, junk food and most of all, a lack of physical activity among our young people.
The technology that kids have at their fingertips today - video games, cell phones, computers, Web sites and 24-hour television - did not exist or was not nearly as advanced even a decade ago. More children spent their free time riding bikes, playing ball in the street and moving about, many because there were no other alternatives, but today's youngsters can find entertainment without even getting off the couch.
Tell us - How do you motivate your kids to get healthy doses of exercise? Do you limit video game use or push for games like Wii that atleast get them moving? Do you sign them up for sports, whether they're willing or not, or push them to play outside? Do you make it a family activity? What local field and places do you use for exercise? And how do you tie in making healthy food choices too?
You'll see members of our Parents Council (formally known as the Moms Council), an advisory group comprised of smart and engaged moms from the neighborhood, responding to these questions below in the comments section and we invite you and your circle of friends to join in the discussion.
Family Forum is a feature on Malverne-West Hempstead Patch that invites local parents to discuss issues that matter to them.
Wondering who are these local parents we tapped for our Council? Meet the members:
- Janet Grech - A Malverne mom with children enrolled at Our Lady of Lourdes School.
- Laura Murray- A Lynbrook mom who grew up in Malverne and is the current president of the Mothers of Malverne. She has two young children not in school yet.
- Gina Genti - A Malverne mom with two boys in elementary school.
- Andrea Shinsato- A West Hempstead mom with a 2-year-old and one child enrolled in Chestnut Street School.
- Theresa Walz- A West Hempstead mom whose children attend Cornwell Avenue School and West Hempstead Middle School.
- Loraine Magaraci- A West Hempstead mom with kids enrolled in West Hempstead Middle School and High School.
- Audrey Diaz Robles- A new mom to a 6-month-old baby.
- Dawn Wladyka- A Malverne mom with two students attending Our Lady of Lourdes School and one enrolled in Grace Lutheran PreSchool.
- Eileen Lynch O'Hara - A Malverne mother with three children enrolled at Saint Anne's School in Garden City and one child at the Brother Fox Latin School at Kellenberg Memorial High School.
- Maria Salcedo-Hafker - A Malverne mom who sends her children to Maurice W. Downing School and Davison Avenue School.
- Lori Lang- A Malverne native and mother of four whose children attend St. Thomas the Apostle School in West Hempstead.
- Jennifer Johnson- A West Hempstead mom with one child attending Cornwell Avenue School and another in day care.
Family Forum will also be the place for you to pose your questions about parenting topics and local issues that affect families. Where can we get information on local flu shot clinics for children? How do we talk to our children about peer pressure, bullying and protecting themselves online? How can we help our children's schools weather their budget cutbacks?
Have a topic or question you'd like to bring before the Moms Council and fellow Patch readers? E-mail Tara.Conry@Patch.com