Obesity has become a huge health problem not only among adults but also children. This is a problem that can lead to health and self-esteem problems in the future. Saying a child is big boned or they have an appetite are excuses which are just hurting the child even more. When it comes to children it’s much easier to prevent obesity compared with adults. Parents have the power to control their children’s meals to some extent and can teach them healthy eating habits from an early age.
Food is the key element responsible for obesity. Portion sizes and ingredients need to be taken into consideration. Before the emergence of junk food, obesity wasn’t the epidemic it has become. So the first step is to teach your children the importance of a healthy diet to prevent obesity and stay healthy. Serve them three meals and three snacks each day which are filled with nutritious ingredients like lean protein, whole grains, fruit and vegetables. Leave the sugary treats like drinks, lollies, chocolate or cake for special occasions or the weekend. Even if they are eating healthy keep an eye on their portions. Teach them to eat slowly. Our bodies take about twenty minutes to register that we are full, so make sure you teach your children to take their time when they eat and stop before they are full.
Exercise comes second. Our bodies were designed to move. If we avoid doing exercise our bodies become like jelly beans and our bones like dry branches ready to snap at the slightest exertion. Encourage your child to participate in sports at school or sign them up for a football team or get them to try dancing or swimming. Sport not only keeps children trim, it teaches them discipline and keeps them out of trouble. Unfortunately, not all schools offer enough exercise for children and so parents must make sure their children get enough after school and at weekends in order to prevent obesity.
Set an example. Children learn best by seeing what others do. Simply telling them that they should eat an apple while you scoff down a chocolate bar or packet of crisps is rather hypocritical. Eat healthy things with your children whenever possible so that they can see that you are practising what you preach. If you eat healthy and take regular exercise there’s a high chance that your children will do the same, and you will be in a much better position to prevent obesity in children.
Preventing obesity in your children isn’t difficult. All it takes is giving them a good supply of fresh and nutritious food, getting them to exercise regularly with a group, on their own or with you, and setting an example. Three simple things that can prevent obesity in children and give them a happier, healthier future.