Childhood obesity is an epidemic in America today.

Many parents are looking for tips on how to avoid childhood obesity with their kids.

Avoid Childhood Obesity with a Healthy Breakfast

childhood obesityBreakfast isn’t called the most important meal of the day for no reason. Too many adults tend to skip eating breakfast in the morning, usually because they are stretched for time on their way to work or to run important errands.

Often, kids will lead by example and may include skipping breakfast as their parents do. As a parent, you should take the time to prepare a good, hearty and healthy breakfast for your children.

Breakfast not only keeps your kids satisfied and tied over until lunch time, it also promotes good thinking and concentration. Oatmeal with fruit, cream of wheat or a cereal that contains no sugar with milk are a few examples of healthy breakfasts you should consider serving.

Avoid Childhood Obesity by Avoiding Fats and Fried Food

Avoid giving your child fatty foods in their meals. If your kids suddenly ask you to cook them fried chicken for dinner, you can compromise by making a healthier alternative in chicken battered with egg and corn flakes and baked in the oven.

This is a delicious alternative that is close in taste and consistency to actual fried chicken, so much so that you kids probably won’t even be able to tell the difference!

You can feel secure in knowing that you served them something that packs in far less calories and is not fried, and this is a great way to battle potential childhood obesity.

Avoid Childhood Obesity by Skipping the Fast Food

One of the biggest aspects that lead to childhood obesity are too many regular visits to fast food joints. While most everyone enjoys a trip to McDonald’s once in a blue moon, it is a poor practice to go on a regular basis.

A parent who limits visits to fast food restaurants or who doesn’t visit them in the first place is far less likely to have kids who request or demand to go to such places.

You can take your kids out for McDonald’s, Burger King or another fast food place, but make sure it is only done sparsely, such as for a special occasion. Never make your trips to fast food joints a regular occurrence.

Avoid Childhood Obesity Drinks Matter Too

Supply your home with healthy drinks, and always pack one of these in your child’s lunch. Juices without sugar and bottled water are the best drinks to raise your kids on.

These can help to combat potential childhood obesity and will ensure that your kids make wiser choices about drinks as they get older.

Avoid giving them soft drinks, which are packed with sugar and occasionally with caffeine, as drinking these regularly can lead not only to obesity but other health problems.

Avoid Childhood Obesity with Fruits and Vegetables

Promote fruits and vegetables as wonderful and tasty snacks for your kids. If children are raised to reach for a banana instead of a cookie, they will make better choices when they are out, even if visiting someone else’s home. They may even ask for a piece of fruit or a carrot if an adult offers them cookies and milk!

Avoid Childhood Obesity by Limiting Snacking and Indulging

Put a limit on desserts and junk food for your kids. Most children love sweets and salty snacks, but you should monitor what they eat and make sure they have these things in moderation.

It is okay to give your child a one ounce bag of potato chips once in awhile, but never make it a habit to give this to them regularly. Also, opt for a junk food like pretzels, which are healthier and have less fat and calories. As for dessert, only give your kids one, in a smaller size, and only after dinner.

Avoid Childhood Obesity with Whole Grains

Serve your children whole grain foods throughout the day. This includes healthy wheat and whole grain, including seven- or 12-grain breads in their sandwiches, healthy cereals that consist of whole grain. For dinner, make brown rice and whole grain pasta to serve instead of white. Whole grain is one of the best substances you can eat when fighting childhood obesity.

Avoid Childhood Obesity with Lean Fish

Serve fish for dinner at least once per week. Doing this when your kids are very young can encourage them to continue eating fish when they get old enough to cook for themselves. Fish has omega 3 oil and can keep you at a reasonable weight when combined with other healthy dishes.

Avoid Childhood Obesity by Limiting Electronics

Minimize the amount of time your child has in front of the TV set, game console and computer. It is much easier to gain weight and become unhealthy when sitting in one place for long stretches of time during the day and not moving around. This is no different for children as it is with adults.

Avoid Childhood Obesity by Getting Active

Encourage your children to go out and play regularly for at least 30 minutes per day. Whether they prefer bike riding, jumping rope, swimming or playing tag, this is an excellent way to beat childhood obesity.

You can also allow your kids to play Wii if you have that game system, as it requires a lot of moving around and promotes good exercise. Also, go out with your kids when they want to play. Participating in their outdoor games and activities is a fantastic way to keep them engaged and in good shape, both physically and mentally.

Many of these strategies are nothing revolutionary or unheard of, but they do really work. Many adults want a quick fix for weight problems, but the real solution is in training children early to avoid long-term habits that lead to obesity in the first place.

Children will be more confident, healthy, and happy when following these ten steps to avoid childhood obesity.

Barbara Williams is a blogger and third grade teacher who works extensively for after-school programs for kids. She enjoys playing tennis with her husband to stay healthy and saves money on health insurance online.

Childhood obesity is one of the most common problems in America. People have grown too accustomed to eating out at fast food restaurants, buying processed food that is not healthy but is chock full of fat and cholesterol and consuming junk food faster than ever.

Whether this is because they don’t have the time to prepare healthy meals for their kids or simply because they are too lazy doesn’t matter. Children deserve to grow up healthy, and this includes eating the right foods, getting plenty of fun exercise and not suffering from medical conditions that are attached to childhood obesity.

As a parent, you should utilize these great tips for helping your child to avoid childhood obesity.

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Dr. Kathy Siefert