It seems that everywhere you go these days someone is talking about child obesity and for good reason. Child obesity has been on the increase over the last 10 years and is now a significant problem in many countries.
The eating habits of children and their parents’ play a significant role in child obesity but lack of exercise is also a problem. There are things that parents can do from an early age to help and here are the top 3 ways to avoid it.
1. Parents are role models for children and want the best for them. Today’s world is much busier and faster paced than that of our parents and grandparents. Therefore, it can be difficult to find the time to do anything more than work, eat and sleep.
However, getting kids interested in what they eat from an early age will stay with them as they grow. For example, if you work all week, set aside a few hours on a weekend and have a cooking session together. This will mean that your child is having fun and learning about the right things to eat at the same time. This may also help your child to be less fussy about what they eat.
Another benefit to this is that you can make some home cooked meals to store in the freezer for the family to eat during the week so you won’t have to fall back on processed meals or frozen dinners.
2. Both adults and children enjoy fast food, but there needs to be a limit on how much you and your children eat per month. Turning fast food into a treat is a great way to break the cycle of children seeing fast food as part of their regular diet. Try and have a family day out once or twice a month and get the whole family to decide which fast food they want as a treat.
If you don’t have time for a whole day out, make it a family lunch. This will also help your pocket as fast food on a regular basis soon adds up. If you want to cut out fast food altogether, make pizzas and burgers from scratch at home a couple of times a month and get them involved in the process.
3. Exercise is important for children and there are things you can do to drag them away from their computers and game consoles. Talk to them about their interests and see if there is an after school sports club that you could encourage them to join. Take them and a friend swimming once or twice a week; this is great exercise and fun too. Combine your family day out with a long walk, roller skating or a bike ride, or another energetic activity.
Show kids that exercise can be fun. This will also benefit you as a parent and you will find you have much more energy. On rainy days you could utilize their games console or computer and still get them exercising.
Buy a game that you can all play together that involves you all jumping around the room. An hour of this a couple of times a week and you will all be much fitter; for this is a great way to prevent child obesity.Read More