Generation We

For all the challenges facing today’s children, there are also endless opportunities to nurture their minds, bodies and spirits in naturally healthy ways.

Generation We
Pin it Dominick Guillemot

Reading the headlines about today’s children and adolescents—More than one-third are overweight or obese! Roughly 1 in 88 now has autism! Bullying begins in preschool!—it may be tough to imagine a happy, healthy future for them. But all hope is far from lost. “It may seem like the challenges facing the next generation are insurmountable, but what they experience with their parents and other adults can make a big difference in whether or not they grow into compassionate, healthy, strong and responsible individuals,” says Michael Ungar, Ph.D., a professor at the School of Social Work at Canada’s Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and author of The We Generation: Raising Socially Responsible Kids (Da Capo Press). “It is through us that children’s physical and social worlds are shaped.” Indeed, as the most recent National Survey of Children’s Health from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) noted, mothers in excellent or very good health were more likely to report that their children were also in excellent or very good health. But it behooves us all—parents and nonparents alike—to not just set them on the right path, but also join them along the way, reinforcing the importance of eating well, staying physically active and taking care of the environment and each other. Here are eight key ways to nurture the next generation—mind, body and spirit.