Easy Ways for Parents to Fight Childhood Obesity
Statistics suggest that children today are facing a very dangerous epidemic in obesity. Kids are less active and eating foods that are higher in sugar and fat content, making it difficult for the body to keep up. The body learns habits during childhood years, and many children are teaching their bodies things that can be seriously detrimental to their health in the future.
Fortunately, parents can step in and help many kids gain control of their futures. Eating right is no longer just a matter of putting off osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease. It’s also about raising healthy children that understand the benefits of eating right and exercising.
Switch up Your Recipes
Mom has control over what goes on in the kitchen, and healthy foods can easily be added to any favorite recipe. Try some of the following things to trick your kids into eating healthy without knowing it.
- Make fruit-based smoothies with low-fat yogurt every day.
- Top favorite recipes like green bean casserole with cheese to increase calcium intake.
- Offer fruits and veggies with yogurt-based dip after school.
- Replace high sugar snack foods with low-fat cheddar cheese or cottage cheese.
If it’s too tempting to have unhealthy foods in the house, it’s simply a matter of walking past them at the grocery store.
According to the American Heart Association, teens should exercise for almost four hours every single week. Since many teens spend plenty of time on the couch watching TV or playing games on mobile devices, this may require mom and dad to step it up and encourage physical activities at home.
Kids don’t have to put in a solid hour of physical activity every single day. Activity can be spread out in small increments throughout the day to ensure that they are getting what they need. Take a 15-minute walk in the morning and a 30-minute bike ride at night as a family, and watch how quick the family gets healthy.
Getting kids off the couch may require cutting off the TV at some point. After a long exhausting day, it’s tempting to sit on the couch and vegetate, but this can be the absolute worst thing for a young child with unhealthy eating habits. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids should spend no more than two hours a day watching TV or playing video games. Children that spend more time watching TV are much more likely to be overweight than those who cut back correctly.
Watch What You Drink
Even the best foods can be harmful in the wrong forms. The best things to keep in your fridge for drinking purposes are water and milk, and you should always teach your kids how to avoid the popular pull of the vending machines at school. Help your kids develop a love of healthy foods, and they’ll carry it with them forever. Studies suggest that drinking large amounts of soda greatly increases a child’s chances of becoming obese.
Take Control of Your Life
Kids will often do what they see and not what they are told, and mom and dad must be good examples of positive eating behaviors and regular physical activity to keep kids in shape. When your family starts moving, you’ll enjoy having more energy and feeling better when you’re together.