Written by Lisa Allen, MD
Today’s world is moving very fast and way more developed than it was a few decades ago. Everything has also become very easy to get and achieve and involves very little physical work.
Even kids games are available at the click of a button and children rarely even have to leave the home to play a game and enjoy them. The fast food industry around the world is a million dollar industry that has got people hooked onto fatty and calorie-rich foods.
Children especially love the fast foods that are available and parents find it easier to provide children with fast food than healthy, home-cooked food. Even if some parents make sure that they provide their children with nutritious meals prepared and done at home, the peer pressure that comes from classmates is way too tough for children to handle.
As a result, children get it grilled into their minds that they want to be able to have fast food just like the others and fast food becomes a way of life. As a result of all these influencing factors, the obesity rate in children has grown much higher than it has ever been before.
However, there are still some tips that parents can follow in order to try and teach their children some healthy living practices.
Family Meal Time
Parents cannot control what their child eats at school or eats out with their friends But encouraging children to have a proper meal in the home at least once a day is a good practice. During these times, healthy food should be provided to children so that they get at least one course of fatless meal a day.
Workout as a Family
Getting a child to workout is impossible and will hardly happen. Gyms cannot contain the enthusiasm and the motivation of children. Parents should make sure that they spend two or three days of the week doing some kind of activity along with their kids. Playing outside in the backyard, or even a fun day catching butterflies will not only help the kids to get some amount of exercise into their lives but also strengthen family bonds.
Encourage Outdoor Play
Right from a very young age, encourage children to go and play outside at every given chance. Do not encourage children to watch television during their entertainment times. You could probably limit television times to an hour at the most per day.
During weekends, try and get working on outdoor projects to keep kids running around. Investing in a bicycle for your kids is a great idea. Kids can learn how to ride a bike as well as get a lot of exercise into their lives.
Once they are done learning how to ride a bicycle, you can buy them a nice skateboard or roller-skates. Anything that will get them to run around or break a sweat is great to help kids get in shape.
Be the Change
Kids watch their parents all the time. It is, therefore, very important that parents are good role models to their children. A parent who spends all his time in front of the television when he relaxes or plays video games will only encourage his child to do the same.
Parents who eat a lot of fast food only teach their children that fast food is okay to indulge in. If you are really worried about the wellbeing of your child, you should first start with yourself and look at the changes you will need to make first before getting your kids to follow.
Pack and Serve
As a way to prevent weight gain, make sure that food for your children is packed from home and sent to the school. This ensures that you have packed healthy and good food for them to eat rather than have them buying fast food.
Do not encourage children to buy from cafeterias that are at schools. Though some of the cafeterias have wonderful food, it still is good practice to get children to realize that home-cooked food is a good option that they should follow throughout their lives.
Teaching Kids about Health
There are lots of books and videos that are available which will help you teach your kids about healthy eating and living habits. There are also resources that teach kids on the side effects of following improper eating practices and taking food that are not nutritious.
Make sure that you show your kids what would happen if they continue to live a life without any exercise and continue the eating/sleeping pattern that they are currently following. It is important to teach kids about the importance of one’s health right from the start and practice healthy habits from childhood. Providing an atmosphere where it is conducive for them to learn healthy habits early on during the formative years is very important.
Parents who suddenly notice that their children have gained weight should take all steps necessary to help them lose their weight as quickly as possible but in a proper way while they are still young – even if it took long for them to notice. It is better late than never.