Childhood obesity has become a worldwide epidemic. Schools and societies are running all sorts of programs to combat this problem. There are many causes of childhood obesity. These include large portion sizes, unhealthy school lunches, consumption of sugary and processed foods, the absence of healthy fats, a lack of physical activity and stress on both children and parents.
We have some tips here that could help you lead your kid to a healthy lifestyle:
An ideal healthy breakfast is qualitatively fulfilling and should provide protein, fiber, healthy fats and antioxidants. It should fuel the body for the entire day. Processed and ready made foods should be avoided. Studies have shown that consumption of breakfast regularly has positive effects on a child’s grasping power, focus, attention and memory throughout the day. It is also linked with good academic performance.
Depending on school canteens for your child’s dietary needs, is not ideal. Every child’s nutritional needs are different and unique. Therefore, make sure you pack their school lunches in order to fulfil their specific needs and maintain diversity in food choices, and not just push him to eat from what little variety exists at the canteen.
Dining out everyday accounts for a major risk of developing childhood obesity. At most restaurants, fast food/processed food is available that has a high content of fats and sugars in it. This can prove harmful in the longer run for your child’s well being.
TV time involves little or no activity, as the child would want to sit down or lay down while watching. Not only the little physical activity is concerning, but even the advertisements about ready made food products, junk foods and eateries would make your child crave for the same. Prompt your child to go outdoors and play sports for a change.
Outdoor games and activities are the best way to keep the child healthy while allowing him some entertainment too. Activities like swimming, basketball, tennis, hiking, dancing, bike riding, karate, etc can not only help keep your child healthy, but also increases their self esteem and improves their social skills.
Tending to psychological stresses related to obesity is as important as making dietary modifications. Talk to your child about the importance of losing weight but do not let him/her be ashamed of his/her body. Discuss how you want to go about the weight loss program, and if possible, practice it together with you child. Children learn via examples and usually follow their elders.