Introduction to Childhood Obesity
In an era when a lot is said about healthy eating and taking care of the body, do we really practice what we preach? For many years, concern over obesity has dominated society. The concern is focused on children now. A few years back it was centered on the adults. If you are among those parents who are dealing with the growing weight of your kids, here are some really useful tips. Is your child gaining significant weight? Does just walking or running for few minutes makes him too tired? If yes, then he may be suffering from obesity – Childhood obesity.
Testimonial of Ellis – a parent
“I am a mother of two and also a working professional. Though I put my best efforts into keeping my kids happy, the younger one is tough to handle. He is hardly interested in homemade meals or veggies and other healthy stuff. He’s always looking for junk food, cold sugary drinks, etc. I took him for a regular checkup six months ago, and his weight was normal. But just a week ago when I got him checked again, to my surprise he had put on about 14 pounds. Doctors advised me to monitor his diet and lifestyle if I want him to lead a healthy life.” ~ Ellis
Well, Ellis is not alone. Countless parents are either dealing with their children’s obesity right now or fearing the same in the future. In the United States, and Nigeria alike, childhood obesity is a growing epidemic. According to stats, issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the obesity rate in children is at 17%. This means that around 12.5 million children are suffering from this health problem.
So, what’s the solution? First, it is about prevention. Yes, you need to prevent your kids from getting obese. How? Follow these useful tips:
Never Skip Breakfast!
Whether he is running late for school or he’s not in a mood to have that bowl of oats, encourage him to eat breakfast. Yes, if you really wish to keep him/her healthy and at the desired weight, ensure that you have your child eat breakfast every day. Experts have found that children who eat a nutritious breakfast daily are less prone to this health problem. You have various breakfast options, including fruits, grain cereals, and organic, low-fat milk.
Routine is highly important in one’s life, especially at meal times. If you follow regular eating times, your child is less likely to overeat, and therefore less prone to obesity. Especially when your schedules are busy, you need to establish a proper time for meals, a habit that will be helpful for the entire family.
Cook At Home!
Whether it’s a birthday, a holiday, or just a weekend, instead of making a home-cooked dinner, people tend to eat out these days. This might appear to be an easy and tasty option, but it can also be a major cause of your child’s weight issue. From today onwards, try to eat at home, rather than going out. The best parts are that you cook fresh—this keeps him healthy; you know what he loves the most—this sweetens your bond, and you can easily manage portions—this keeps him fit.
Don’t have time to cook? You can find any number of crock-pot recipes, which you can easily simmer at home, even while you are away.
Make Them Play!
Without a doubt, you need to make sure your children are getting exercise. In this world of video games and TV shows, it is difficult to keep kids off the couch. This indoor sitting is a major reason for their growing weight. Why not encourage them to play some sports?
Sports have always been a great way to get exercise, and yes, to manage a healthy weight. Moreover, playing a sport helps children gain self-esteem, which further motivates them to feel good about themselves. Remember, you don’t have to force your children to play a particular sport. Football, soccer, or any other team sport is no problem. You can enroll them in martial arts, fencing, gymnastics, etc. You keep your children fit even as they enjoy themselves.
Additionally, you can establish an exercise slot for your entire family once a day. By going for a walk together every night, or attending family swim classes, you will also be improving your bond with them.
Improve Eating Habits!
Remember, parents are the biggest role models for children’s eating habits. First, add healthy eating behaviors to your regimen. When you achieve good nutrition habits, it is likely your children will do the same.
Every little bit helps. Don’t give up! By following these easy tips, you can possibly prevent childhood obesity and give your children the future they deserve!
Taylor is the social media manager of The OrganWise Guys. He loves music, drums, and healthy eating!