Over the decades, there has a been a growing epidemic of obesity in children all over the world. We shall take a look on how parents can best manage obesity and overweightedness in their children.
Childhood Obesity Facts
Overweightedness and obesity develops when kids are eating more calories than they are burning. While decades back, chubby kids are considered “cute” and “adorable”, parents have now come to realize that weight problems during childhood can lead to serious problems later on. These problems would include increased risk of developing chronic illnesses like hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol, and psychological problems like low self-esteem and depression. These same children are highly likely to become obese when they reach adulthood.
At present, an average child spends more than 4 hours a day watching TV or playing video games, while spending little time in physical activities, such as sports. This sedentary lifestyle is further compounded by bad eating habits, including large portion sizes and consumption of fatty foods and drinks that contain empty calories.
Tips on Managing Childhood Obesity
If your child is overweight or obese, it should be emphasized that there are no quick solutions to this problem. It will take a long period of time manage your child’s obesity and to inculcate in him or her new skills and tools by which he or she can make good choices that would benefit their health. For some more related topic, check out this tip on how to get rid of heartburn.
Let us take a look at some practical tips…
- Start preparing meals for your kids right in your own kitchen so that you can monitor the fat content. Stop buying commercially prepared meals from fast food restaurants.
- Reduce serving your kids with fried or breaded foods. Kiddie favorites like fish, French fries, burgers and chickens will taste just as good if you bake, broil or steam them.
- Never serve your child large portions. Gradually reduce the amount of food that you serve to them.
- Do not force your kids to sit at the table until they have consumed everything. If they say that they are already full, don’t force them to finish everything in their plate.
- Be a good role model for your kid. Since children follow more by example compared to if they are being told what to do, be sure to eat right yourself and exercise regularly.
- Avoid stocking up on junk food in the home. This sends the wrong message to kids that it is alright for them to eat junk foods. The better alternative is to stock up on healthy foods like veggie or cheese sticks and whole grain crackers for snacks.
- Most soft drinks and commercially-prepared juices contain empty calories. Teach your kids to drink lots of water with their meals and snacks. If you want to give your child juice, make sure that you prepare fresh fruit or vegetable juices instead so that you are assured that your child will get the right nutrients.
- Always request your child’s school to provide you with their weekly menu. During school days when the meals for lunch and snack time are loaded with fat, sugar and salt, you can pack your child a healthy lunch instead.
- Get your family involved in managing your child’s weight. Encourage them to eat healthy foods as well as exercise regularly.
- Do not totally forbid your child from eating their favorite foods. You can give them their favorite cake, cookie or chips as long as they consume it occasionally and in moderation.
- If you have difficulty in managing your child’s weight problem, consult with your pediatrician. Your doctor may recommend a dietary plan with the help of a nutritionist and an effective exercise regimen.