Obesity is one of the biggest problems faced by young children today. More than thirty-one percent of children, aged 2-19 years old, in the United States have been found to be overweight. This is quite an alarming number, since researchers and doctors have found a strong link between childhood and adult obesity. It has been shown that people who have been overweight in their youth have a higher likelihood of becoming obese when they enter adulthood.
That is why parents should put some extra effort to control the amount of calories that enter their child’s body. The factors that can affect the weight of a child can be controlled by parents. Excessive food portions, poor understanding of a child’s nutritional requirements, lack of exercise or places to exercise, and convenient transportation all play a role in America’s increasing battle with the flab. With a little effort, creativity and a lot of patience, parents can do something about this problem.
Here are some simple steps to help you help your kids.
Encourage your kids to join athletic clubs in school. Even if they do not, you could advise them to do move more, instead of spending all day in front of the computer, or sitting on the couch for hours playing with their hand-held games.
Be a good role model. Most children suffering from obesity often have parents who are overweight, too. By showing your children that you are trying to shape-up, you set a good example. “Do as I do” is much more effective than “Do as I say”.. Family activities are also an excellent venue for you and your kids to trim down. Take a walk around the park, go jogging, play a little basketball, baseball, go swimming. Even putting on your child’s favorite song and dancing in the living room are great ways to get the heart pumping.
You should also prepare healthier meals. This means that the food you prepare should possess sufficient nutrient, vitamins, and minerals that can promote the proper growth of children. Some families often lead a busy lifestyle, so take-out dinners are the usual fare. Foods such as these are often high in fats, low in vegetables, and brimming with food enhancers that are bad for your health. Remove juices and sodas from your home and drink water or seltzer sprinkled with lime. Instead of processed candies, keep a steady supply of fruits and nuts around for snacking.
Let the children leave something on the plate. Let children leave something on the plate. Parents often advise the young to “eat everything on the plate”. While this may seem like good manners, families often serve huge portions of food. So it is either you reduce the amount of food that is served, or you let your child stand up from the table when he/she is full, even if there are some morsels left.
Reward your children the right way. Parents usually reward their children with candies or a trip to their favorite fast food restaurant when they behave well or achieve scholastic goals. Instead of these potentially caloric rewards, why not give them healthier alternatives? A trip to the park, a stop-over at the swimming pool, or hike in the nearby woods are fun ideas, and sure-fire ways to trim down calories in children.
Following these simple steps can be of great help to kids. Not only would parents be able to help control their children’s weight, they would also be able to reap greater profits. Increased muscle mass, stronger bones, healthier hearts, and a livelier disposition could all contribute to the overall well-being of kids. With children it is all about keeping it fun and simple.
If you are concerned about your child’s weight; start off by consulting your child’s doctor on the best ways for your child to get healthy.