Avoiding childhood obesity
Childhood obesity is quite on the rise these days because parents do not imbibe the keep fit culture into their kids early. Parents often feel a plump/fat child is always a healthy child; while some even believe it depicts a level of affluence and often compare their kids to their plump peers, encouraging them to eat even when they obviously are not hungry just to put on more flesh. This is not to say that plumpness is not good of itself. However, you must watch that it doesn’t cross the line into obesity.
Owing to the busy schedule of the parents/caregivers and with technology and gadgets becoming the in-thing, parents are often quick to buy gadgets for the kids to occupy their time with, and as well grab meals on the go for the kids. Communication with kids are even becoming a problem and most times, kids do not feel the need to open up to another person even if they have something bothering them; instead they seek solace in their gadgets and often times on junk food. With this unhealthy lifestyle, the risk of the kids developing disease especially hereditary diseases is increased: diabetes, hypertension, certain cancers etc.
Every child deserves a treat once in a while but don’t make the once in a while a daily affair. This way, they’ll be excited to have their treat day. You may try the following tips to ensure a healthier lifestyle for your loved ones:
- Ensure you pack healthy lunch for them to take to school. A lot of parents make the mistake of packing biscuits as lunch and so should know that they are not.
- Let the kids help you out with meal preparation at home and make their meals colourful. This way, even if they do not like all the healthy meals you make at home, once they are involved in the preparation, they might want to eat, as it is their effort.
- Buy decorative (cookie) cutter and let the kids cut their fruits and veggies in attractive patterns, they can also make their sandwiches in fancy patterns. It will seem more of fun than food to them and they are likely to eat up.
- Stop comparing them to other kids; rather concentrate on having a healthy child. Remember that everyone has a different genetic makeup and so appetites vary so ensure they eat healthy and balanced meals regularly.
- For picky eaters, they can eat in small but frequent patterns.
- Engage the kids in sports and physical activities as early as possible and encourage them to develop their talents early enough.
- Ensure you communicate and observe your kids well especially once they start schooling. This will enable you to know if there is any change in behaviour as kids often bullied, might be drawn to their gadgets and junk as comfort/solace.
- Be a role model to them. Adults around them easily influence kids, so if they see you eat right and exercise; they are bound to follow your footstep.
Keep well, stay active and please share.