The 21st Century has not only been known for innovative and creative advancements but also lifestyle issues such as obesity. Child obesity is among the serious public health challenge that is affecting low and middle-income countries. This global pandemic is common among children in urban settlements with the prevalence increasing at an alarming rate.
Globally, the number of overweight children stands at over 50 million. According to studies, most of these children stay obese till adulthood which has given a clear passage to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and stroke.
Preventing obesity in children is possible if only parents and guardians take their awareness higher. It should be the priority of those in charge to plan and strategize on the best way to handle the children and introduce healthy living.
Use these tips to let health take over:
Be their role model
You need to take up the role of modeling the healthy habits you want your children to possess. Show them what needs to be done and what importance it has. For instance, every morning, take your healthy breakfast, your snacks, lunch, and so on. Do not keep them in the dark about how you eat. However, most parents may force their children to take what they themselves hate. For children to learn and stick to a habit, do it with them. Exercise or eat the greens and fruits together. It does not only build your bond but also builds healthy eating behavior.
Limit Tech Time
Nowadays, tech is everything. Most parents prefer to buy gadgets for their children rather than buying playing tools such as balls, dolls, skipping rope, etc. Children prefer spending time with their tablets or on Televisions as opposed to running around, playing ball, or riding bicycles. This is evident in children whose parents have tight work schedules and have less or no time for children.
Most households have Television, tablets, phones, and iPods. Parents believe in children’s independence. Playing video games, listening to music, watching cartoons, Facebooking, and texting are considered healthy. Do you know creating a schedule of activities and supervising them could prevent obesity? If not, that is what you can do. Make a timetable of activities children can do to remain active and keep an eye while guiding them.
Eat healthy snacks
Parents at large succumb to their children whims on what kind of snack they want. Children have a sweet tooth that guides on the sugary and fatty snacks they crave for. Snacks are mostly to fill the gap on the nutrients missed. However, we forget and fall for their desires. During snack time, emphasize on snacks such as fruits and vegetables with a little protein and carbohydrate. Ensure it is enough to keep them hungry during dinner.
Children do not need complicated activities. Exercising should not be that hard other than going to the playground to play ball, ride bicycles, play hide and seek, run, and walking. In most cases, if the parent is active, so will be the children. They are one of the best exercise buddies you can get. Make an exercise routine and do the simple things to sweat it out. A healthy body and mind never got this easy!
Eat meals together
Recent studies found out that, children and teens that ate family meals four times a week were less likely to be obese by 12%. Eating together can help you eat healthier meals and control eating disorders. You get time to eat and chew food properly as well as watch your portions.
Eating High fiber food
To help your children not overeat, include fruits and vegetables in their diet to keep them full for longer. Food such as whole grains, beans, peas, nuts, fruits, and green leafy food should not miss on your shopping list. For serving, the USDA’s plate image is more recommended as you serve everything in small portions.
Involve them in Meal Planning
Parents letting their children participate in meal planning and preparation encourages healthy lifestyles. They are likely to make healthy food choices when putting up a food shopping list and preparing new recipes together. If you have a garden, plant vegetables together and encourage them to cook when ripe.