All parents want is for their kids to eat well and grow healthy but without proper guidance, their eating habits can lead to child obesity.
Obesity in children is defined as a medical condition of accumulating excessive fat that can impact health negatively. A healthy weight trajectory is when a child grows in height as his body puts in weight. However, due to having different personalities and family lifestyle, some children go off the fit trajectory. Researches have shown that children are more likely to become obese and acquire chronic diseases later in adulthood.
How Do Kids Become Obese?
Children become overweight and obese for a variety of reasons.
Genetic factors. Some people just have the genes of being overweight. This doesn’t mean, however, that people who have a family history of being obese will become obese. There are a lot of ways to avoid corpulence as early as childhood.
Lack of physical activity. Given the pace of technological advancement, people are becoming more and more sedentary. A growing number of children today prefer playing with mobile games instead of going out to have fun. Parents have also dependent on electronic devices to instantly pacify kids’ tantrums. (Read: How to Control Kids in Using Electronic Devices)
Unhealthy Eating Habits. Your family’s eating patterns contribute greatly to their health. It is easy to fall into bad eating habits when you busy parents. Planning is important and should be given equal importance as spending quality time with your kids. You can incorporate grocery shopping and cooking in your family’s bonding activities to ensure that you can provide as much nutrients as yummy treats for them.
You don’t have to wait for your family physician to tell you that your child is already overweight before changing your old and unhealthy habits. Preventing obesity is all about balance; Balance in your time as parents and balance in the calorie intake of your kids. Follow these tips in preventing child obesity.
Encourage healthy eating habits for the whole family.
- Eat meals together.
- Provide a balanced meal with vegetables and fruits.
- Encourage consumption of low-fat dairy products.
- Serve a variety of proteins such as lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs and beans.
- Always serve food in reasonable proportions.
Take off high-calorie treats from your grocery list.
- Allow treats in moderation.
- Look for healthy treat alternatives that are low in sugar and calorie.
- Slowly change eating habits by serving them fruit slices instead of candies or chocolates.
- Find ways on how to encourage your kids to eat more greens. (Read: How to Get Your Child to Eat More Fruits & Vegetables)
- Buy high-nutrient ingredients and use them in fun and appetizing recipes for your kids.
Help them to be physically active.
- Encourage morning/afternoon walks and playing at the park.
- Ask your kids about what sport interest them and sign them up for weekend activities.
- Take your family out on weekends and play moderate-intense physical games.
- Reduce screen time (i.e. TV, computer, iPad, mobile).
- Set a good example and exercise daily.
There are a lot more ways to keep your children strong and healthy. Child obesity can be prevented by reducing their rate in weight gain while still allowing normal growth and development. Plan ahead, watch their weight, exercise and develop healthy eating habits, not only for your kids but for the whole family.