Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic among children in America. About one in 5 is affected by obesity, which is contributed by many factors.
What causes obesity in children?
Poor meal choices and inactivity is one of the main reasons for obesity in children and adults alike. In this situation, proper meal planning and understanding of healthy food portions must be practiced at home.
Learn more about healthy portions here.
How can I inspire my child to be healthier?
In this modern-day of technology, parents turn to gadgets to appease a child. This behavior forms terrible habits in children, causing them to dislike physical activities, develop poor eating habits, and so much more. Therefore, bad habits must be averted while your child is young. Here’s how:
- Limit screen time. Set a timer for when your child is allowed to watch t.v. or play computer games. Experts suggest limiting screentime to a maximum of 2 hours per day.
- Play and exercise with your kids. Have a regular walk at the park or do some fun and engaging physical activities at home, like playing sports or initiating exercise. Encourage your child to join a sports league in your community or school.
- Have a balanced calorie intake and encourage healthy eating habits. This is where meal preparations come in handy. Stick to serving more fruits and vegetables, only serve whole-grain foods. Cutting on dairy products helps your child have a better cognitive function and prevent him from feeling sluggish all day. Try to substitute dairy products with plant-based alternatives such as nut milk, dairy-free cheeses, and the like.
- Make dinner time, family time. The impact of having regular family dinners provide significant benefits to you and your child. Dinners allow you and your children to strengthen your bond and will enable you to communicate with your child better. Excellent communication is key to improving your child’s well-being.
Why worry about my child’s weight?
Being overweight or obese as a child can lead to serious problems, like:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep problems
- Low self-esteem
- Getting bullied
You’re a Role Model
Parents are usually the most influential role models for their kids. When you choose to eat well and exercise, your children are more likely to follow your lead and make those choices as well. Taking small steps as a family can help your child stay at a healthy weight and the beneficial habits your child learns now can last a lifetime.
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