6 Ways To Raise Your Kids Fit And Healthy
Obesity is a growing health concern affecting the adult population all around the world. And now this serious health complication is also plaguing the young.
Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height. There are many reasons why children become overweight which includes unhealthy diets, inactive lifestyle and heredity cycle. Only in rare cases being overweight is caused by a medical condition such as a hormonal problem.
Childhood obesity is a critical situation and measures to overcome it should be taken as early as possible because it can bring along many other complications such as:
• Physical complications: Children with obesity are predisposed to diseases which affect adults early in life like type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart problems, asthma and bone pain.
• Psychological complications: Low self esteem and poor body image is common among children with obesity. Many children if not counseled properly may go into depression further aggravating the problem.
• Social complications: Overweight children tend to have more anxiety and poor social skills than healthy children. These children are often bullied by their peers which affects their morale and leaves them isolated.
Acting out in time can save the child from the future grave consequences of obesity. By altering the child’s lifestyle and incorporating a balanced diet from the younger days, you can help your child to grow up into a confident healthy adult.
1. Encourage healthy eating habits: Involve your children by telling them the health benefits of foods that will encourage them to eat it. Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole-grain products. Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products. Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils and beans for protein.
2. Remove temptations: While your child truly deserves an occasional treat, try and limit high-fat and high-sugar or salty snacks. Replace unhealthy treats with healthy treats like:
• A medium-size apple
• A medium-size banana
• Handful of nuts
• Yoghurt and fruit
3. Shop smart: When shopping cut back on convenience foods such as cookies, crackers and prepared meals which are often high in sugar, fat and calories. Take your kid along and take them to different sections where they understand about different food groups. The more you involve your child with your regular grocery shopping, the more interested they will be in the food you cook.
4. Go down on junk: Kids love to eat all kinds of wrong food like sweetened beverages and sodas which have empty calories offering no benefits to the child. So substitute the junk with healthier options. You can make simple healthy dishes loaded with flavor which your kids will enjoy to eat.
5. Help kids stay active: Enroll your child in some activity that will get them moving. Accompany them yourself or send them out with their friends for a fun evening of sports or a jog in the park. Some examples of moderate-intensity physical activity include:
• Brisk walking
• Jumping rope
• Playing cricket
6. Reduce sedentary time: Let your children relax with some TV or Computer games, but make sure they don’t go overboard. No physical activity accompanied by long periods of sitting can:
• Increase the risk of diabetes
• Increase the possibility of heart problems
• Increase the chances of depression
Also avoid having meals in front of TV so your child isn’t distracted while eating and learns to enjoy food instead of wolfing it down.
Family support is very important when dealing with such a delicate issue. Lifestyle changes should be accepted by the entire family so that the child doesn’t feel singled out. Focus on small but permanent changes followed as weight loss is a gradual process and success depends largely on parental support and commitment to helping the child make these changes.