Get Your Child Off The Couch
If children are overweight by the time they are 3 years old, they will find it hard to lose weight later as fat cells are already formed. How you bring up your child, starting from the time you conceive and give birth, to the time he/she is a grown-up individual, has far reaching impacts on her wellness and health. Lessons in good eating begin at home with you- and they begin early. Starting this practice as early as you can will keep them getting habituated to certain eating habits and last them a lifetime. Parents who limit their fat intake to 30%/35% of daily calories have lower cholesterol levels by age 5.They also have lower body fat, reducing their risk of obesity and heart disease. As parents, we have to always be there for our children in every way, physically, mentally and financially. You must take care of their best interests to heart. And their top-most and best interest should be proper health. For that eating proper is not only adequate but also being active and taking part in physical activity is a must. If you find that your kid loves sitting on the sofa and watching telly and playing video games, or going online for a major part of the evening when he should be playing or doing some sort of physical activity, then there is definitely something to get worried about. Then you come to the conclusion that the child is suffering from energy loss. Overweight or obesity in a child is a consequence of an energy imbalance. Energy intake exceeds energy expenditure over a considerable period. Obesity no doubt can be attributed to overindulgence in highly palatable foods or a lack of physical activity.
How To Prevent Obesity:
Over the past decade, children have become less physically active, spending more time in sedentary entertainment activities. The percentage of overweight children is growing at an alarming rate with 1 out of 3 kids being overweight or obese. There are many ways you can change your child's lifestyle, simply by following some simple tips.
Stop TV Dinners: Television eats into your health. The more television we watch, the less we move and the more we weigh. Children with television sets in their bedrooms are more prone to put on excess weight easily. Make sure when it is meal time, make it a habit of eating at the table as a family, have regular family meals and avoid serving meals at favourite television programme times. It helps catching up with the kids.
Ban Fast Food: Fast food is rich in fat and calories as compared to a normal diet. Maximum people suffer from obesity because of these fast foods. Ban fast food from the childs menu. But banning does not mean to do it at once because it often leads secretive eating and binging. It is a better idea to restrict fast foods to no more than once weekly. Keep meal times regular, make eating fun time for the family. Children who eat alone concentrate more on what they are eating. Make his meal interesting. If you want your children to accept a variety of foods, you have to offer them repeatedly. Try offering the child the same food at least 5, 10 or 15 times, you will see that he will eventually accept it.
Ban Soft Drinks: Kids consume more soft drinks than before. And a recent research showed that soft drink consumption is one major factor contributing to the increase in child obesity. Instead of soft drinks, compensate with a sandwich, fruit, cheese and baked chips, which comes upto the same amount of calories. Introduce your children early to healthy drinks - fresh juices and buttermilk.
Cook Together: Making food together is a great way to introduce kids to healthful foods. Kids are more likely to eat if they know that they have helped to prepare. Even younger children can help with simple steps like washing, pouring, mixing and spreading. For example, substitute wholewheat macaroni for regular macaroni if your children insist on leaving out kidney beans. That will provide the fibre that they need.
Try A Veggie And Fruit Habit: What you eat as a kid you generally grow to relish. Give your kid at least one veggie or fruit with every meal or as snacks. As they grow up, it becomes a habit for them to eat fruits and vegetables in their meals. Make sure to place veggie on the table first when you find that your child is very hungry. If he turns up his nose at veggies, try integrating them in the main dishes. Make veggie based pasta sauces; put them in noodles, or layer them with rice. Kids who eat more fruit may have a lower risk of cancer later in life. If you kids does not like fruit, chop them up and add rock salt to give it a flavour, that will make the dish more interesting.
Take Him Grocery Shopping: Grocery stores are places where you can teach your children good nutrition. Kids learn best when they are a part of the process and are allowed to make choices for themselves. Try a trick: give him the choice of vegetable to buy for the next dinner and see him eat it well when it reaches his plate. Before going on grocery shopping, take a list and stick to it. This will teach your child the importance of planning and not buyingon impulse. But you can make an exception and ask your child to pick up a new thing - a new food or drink that you have not eaten before. This will make him branch out and open his taste buds to something new.
Physical Activity: Low fat snacks and diet combing are not enough. Children need to play. And it is your job to introduce a good exercise/activity regime for your child. Get her involved in a sports that she or he is interested in. This may take a bit of experimenting in the beginning - swimming, badminton, basketball and cricket. Stay patient and she will zero in on something sooner or later. As long as the child enjoys the sport, the main factor is that she is active. It is better to gift your child with fitness oriented things like a skipping rope, mini-trampoline, roller skates, frisbee, tennis racket, exercise bike, swimming goggles, membership for the gym or sports club. Choose gifts keeping your child's skills and interests in mind.
More On Preventing Obesity In Children