Simple Steps to Help Prevent Childhood Obesity
In order to prevent obesity and subsequent self-esteem loss, it is important that children learn to maintain a healthy lifestyle early on. The best way to do this is to introduce healthy habits to your children before they have a chance to pick up any unhealthy ones. As much as your child may refuse to eat his broccoli, he will thank you later when he is leaner, happier, stronger and more confident than his peers. These are just a few easy ways to prevent childhood obesity.
Kids Health News: Eating Right
The easiest way to keep your kid on the right track is to make sure he eats well-balanced meals as soon as possible. By making this a routine, you encourage your child to choose a healthy diet independently when they are older. They are also less likely to crave junk food and other bodily pollutants if they don’t expect them in their regular diet.
- Don’t give toddlers sugary juices or soft drinks. Introducing your child to high quantities of unnatural sugars at a young age can train their taste buds to enjoy these. Instead, you could be training their taste buds to prefer apples or carrots and other natural sugars.
- Have a regular family dinner. It has been proven that families who eat their meals independently are more likely to overeat. If your child has already eaten and they see you coming home from work and pigging out, it will only encourage them to eat a second meal. Eating at a regular time everyday will also prevent any midnight snack cravings.
- Pass on the lunch money and pack a nutritious sack lunch. School cafeterias are generally unhealthy and costly meal options. While it may mean you have to wake up an extra 15 minutes earlier, packing your child a sack lunch full of fruits, vegetables and other complex carbohydrates will do wonders for their health.
Kids Health News: Staying Active
Most childhood activities are somewhat vigorous on their own. Swinging from the monkey bars or playing a game of handball at recess improves muscle, balance and motor skills. However, the rise of video games and other stationary activities means that parents may have to give their children a little extra nudge to prevent any sedentary habits. While PE resources all over the country and being cut, it is important for parents to be extra vigilant about keeping kids active.
- Enroll your child in a recreational sport. Sports are a fun way to stay active, and many children will become so dedicated to them – especially when in a team setting – that they are willing to push their athletic limits, break new ground and learning more about themselves. They are also a great vehicle for boosting self-confidence.
- Encourage participation in PE. PE games and classes have severely degenerated in conjunction with school funding. Talk to school officials to negotiate affordable ways of including physical activity into the regular school day. If only a fair amount of instructional minutes is being allotted to PE lessons, consider how other activities, such as learning math or science could be more active and hands-on.