Childhood obesity is an epidemic that is threatening the future of children all across the world.
Asthma, stunted development, heart complications and diabetes (Type 2) are all indications of a child being overweight and can prove fatal if serious changes are not made.
It is your responsibility as a parent to create the kind of lifestyle, diet, and support structures that your child needs in order to avoid childhood obesity and avoic these complications.
Here are ten things that parents can do to avoid childhood obesity.
- Encourage an active lifestyle
Exercise and weight are linked.
Children that run around outside, engage in play, enjoy sports and are active are more likely to be at a healthy weight. Get involved and play outdoor games and sports with your children – you will strengthen your bond, promote a healthy weight and avoid childhood obesity.
- Limit the intake of processed foods and carbohydrates
Sweets, chocolates, processed food and microwave meals contain unhealthy fats and sugars that cannot be burned off, even by a child’s metabolism, and as a result this all turns to fat stores.
Balance protein, healthy carbohydrates and plenty of water, fresh vegetables and fruit. Low fat options are tasty, affordable and will help you avoid childhood obesity.
- Be creative with fruit and veg
Some children are hesitant to eat fruit and veg in their normal state. Mix it up and disguise the vegetables – ground beef with beans, carrots, peas or broccoli tastes great.
Your children won’t recognize the good things that they are eating and you will be helping them to avoid childhood obesity.
- Limit television and gaming time
One hour a day is more than enough TV or gaming time– encourage them to get out of doors.
- By an active gaming system
If you can, invest in a gaming console that encourages movement, like a Wii.
These are fun for the whole family, and provide beneficial exercise and strength training. Teach them how to have fun and avoid childhood obesity.
- Do family activities
Hiking, playing ball and swimming are other physical activities that you can enjoy with your children that will help them use their energy effectively and avoid childhood obesity.
- Promote dietary variety
Any food eaten in excess can lead to obesity, so try and serve healthier, smaller portions of different kinds of food.
This will encourage healthy development and make sure that bad foods are limited without depriving the child completely.
- Take control
Your child is probably going to resist a massive dietary change. Explain that you love them and that you are doing the best thing for them – and you have the right and authority to make this kind of call.
- Set a good example
Children are quick to harp on injustice, so make the dietary and exercise changes wholesale. At the end of the day you will all benefit.
- Use vitamins and mineral supplements
The fact is that modern food doesn’t contain everything a growing, healthy body needs, so it is recommended that you add a child-friendly supplement to your child’s new diet to avoid childhood obesity.