How do you prevent childhood obesity?
Childhood obesity is growing more common across the USA thanks to the large quantities of candy, fast food, soda and other unhealthy food being consumed and the drop in physical activity. Research has proved that children who tend to be heavier as kids are likely to be obese or overweight when they turn adults. Therefore, the best time to initiate kids into healthy habits is when they are young.
Promote a healthy diet
Make sure your child has a balanced diet which has 30% or less calories from fat. Encourage your child to eat more of fresh fruit and vegetables. Make sure the quantity of fruit juice consumed is just 5 to 6 ounces per day. Replace whole milk with skim milk once your child turns two. Encourage children to try out new foods.
Try to avoid canned and preserved foods, aim to eat fresh as far as possible. Do not reward good behavior from kids with food or candy. Do not buy snacks with too much salt or sugar.
Avoid eating food while sitting in front of the television, one tends to overeat while doing so. Make sure you care for your child's appetite, kids do not have to finish everything on their plate.
Encourage physical activity
Make exercise a habit. Encourage small kids to play active games. Introduce them to a sport. Join your kids for a walk with the dog, a walk in the park, a game of football or biking, this will also motivate them. Your aim should be to make your child undertake physical activity for at least 60 minutes a day.
Emotional eating and medication
Some kids who you might find hungry always might be having emotional problems. They may be eating to make themselves feel better. It’s up to you to explain to your child that food is not a way to deal with problems and that the problems need to be sorted out anyway. Some medications may make your child put on weight and in case you feel that your child is putting on weight for no reason, check with your doctor.