The rate of childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate, so much so that it has become an epidemic. This serious issue is something that any parent needs to be aware of. Why are so many kids overweight today? The reasons are basically similar to the reasons why a lot of adults have weight problems. It’s essentially all about how much calories are put in relative to how much calories are burned. So in this regard, it’s important that you as a parent encourage your children to develop healthy habits that will keep them from becoming overweight.
Healthy Family Activities
Get your child to be a lot more active by scheduling healthy family activities regularly. Do this and the whole family will benefit too. It can be a way for parents and children to bond and for everyone to get some fresh air and exercise. Go on long hikes one weekend and swimming the following weekend. Vary the physical activities you do with the family every week so your child doesn’t get bored. Does your family have dogs? Make the family activities more fun by taking them along. If you go on a family vacation, make sure to incorporate physical activities, not just sitting for hours in the car or riding on a tour bus. Doing healthy physical activities together as a family is a wonderful way you can encourage your child to develop healthy habits.
Healthy Eating Habits
It’s important that you encourage your child to develop healthy eating habits, but be careful that you don’t get too restrictive. If your child is completely forbidden to eat those foods he or she likes to eat, your child will be craving for those foods and simply feel deprived. This is how binge eating often develops, as kids find ways to sneak in the foods that are forbidden to them.
For many children, they continue with this habit even when they’ve become adults. Your child will be a bit more receptive to the idea of eating more healthily if instead of completely forbidding them to eat the foods they like, you start by limiting their consumption of those foods. If they love sweets or fast food, for example, allow them this as an occasional treat. And when you let your child have those foods, don’t let them eat too much of those; give them sensible portions.
Obesity, in both adults and children, is on the rise and it can be attributed to fast foods. Fast food is tasty, cheap, and easy to find. It’s also very convenient, which is why many families get into the habit of consuming it on a regular basis. If you truly want your child to develop eating habits that are much healthier, you’ll need to do a lot more cooking at home and spend a lot less time at the drive-thru. You just need to carefully plan your strategy and you’ll be able to squeeze cooking in your busy schedule. For example, every Sunday, you can devote a few hours cooking big batches of food. You simply can put them in small containers and freeze them. Then at mealtime, simply microwave or heat the food up.
You should be concerned if your child is overweight, but you shouldn’t feel powerless to help your child. You’ve read several things you can try to help your child be healthy. Don’t hesitate to talk to a pediatrician if you’re not quite sure if your child has a weight problem or if his or her weight gain is just a normal part of his or her development. It takes time for children to get to the point where there are overweight or obese so it’s important that parents remember that and be patient because their child isn’t going to suddenly lose weight overnight.