You’ve heard it before — We have an obesity epidemic going on, and it’s not only affecting adults, it’s hitting children too. Instead of focusing on the possible causes of childhood obesity, I’d like to suggest ways to help you prevent it. For younger children, most changes will occur with the help of parents, caregivers, teachers, and other adults in their lives. Here are some tips to help your child: Dealing with children is extremely difficult as you can easily cause emotional dmage if you are not sensitive.
Be a good role model. Children pick up on everything around them, and if you aren’t eating healthy, balanced meals and participating in daily activities, how can you expect them to?! Lead the way to a healthy lifestyle.
Get your child involved in the kitchen. No matter how young children are, there is a place for them in the kitchen. Whether they just hand you ingredients or help you stir them together, kids will learn that cooking is fun. If you order in or go out to dinner every night they’ll never learn the benefits of cooking at home and the different fresh ingredients.
Encourage activity. Instead of playing video games, children should be out on a field or in the backyard playing active games. Sign your child up for sports teams or go for a bike ride with them a few times a week. Again, if you’re active, they’ll be more inclined to get up and go!
Prepare balanced meals and snacks. Kids, just like adults, need a balanced plate of vegetables, lean protein, healthy carbs, and some healthy fat. Children’s favourites like macaroni and cheese can be made healthier by using whole wheat pasta, fresh cheese, and adding veggies and protein like broccoli, peas, caulflower and edamame.
Keep in mind that healthy doesn’t mean bland. Treats don’t have to be off the table completely and nutritious food can definitely be delicious. Remember this at all times!
Be supportive. Body image and weight issues start earlier than ever these days and your child needs all the support he can get. Even if your child is overweight, it’s important to treat him the same as your other children and other kids. If you make changes to their diet, make changes to the diets of the rest of the household too. And if your child is being picked on because of his weight, don’t hesitate to go to the principal of the school to deal with the issue.
Childhood obesity is a complex issue and the above are only a handful of tips to help you and your family stay healthy. I would take your child to see an Accredited Practicing Dietitian in your area to help you and your family live a healthy, nutritious life.
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