So much has been written and said about childhood obesity but are we missing the point? Waiting until a child is obese and then trying to change their diet and lifestyle to correct the problem is never going to work. The time to combat obesity in children is when they start eating solids for the first time. This is when you have complete control over your child’s eating habits. It is also the time when your child will develop their own likes and dislikes when it comes to food.
The Danger of a Poor Diet
We are all busy and we are all time poor so picking up takeaway on the way home from work can become a habit the will be hard to break. The problem with fast foods is the amount of salt, sugar and fat the meals contain. All these things should be eaten in moderation and eating fast food several times a week does lead to some pretty serious health problems.
A poor diet leads to weight gain and poor health. An excessive amount of bad fats can lead to high Cholesterol, blocked arteries and eventually a heart attack. High blood pressure rests strongly on the shoulders of a high salt intake and all that sugar in soft drinks and takeaways is the main cause of Diabetes.
Medical practitioners are constantly telling us poor diet is the cause of many cancers so why are we not listening.
Developing healthy eating habits early is important. Poor eating habits can lead to serious health problems later in life and that is not something any parent wants for their child. There has been a rise in bowel cancer because people are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. Introducing your child to home cooked meals that include a variety of vegetables is the best way to get them started on a healthy diet.
Diet & Exercise For Health
When your child is just a toddler it is time to get him into both diet and exercise. Make sure he eats healthy nutritious foods with vegetables, fruit and grain. Three meals a day sitting down at the table together does more than just fill their tummies. It also helps to keep the communication between the family members alive and well.
Always remember your toddler will be a teenager sooner than you think and if you have always kept those healthy lines of communication open it will help both of you get through those teenage years.
Getting plenty of exercise is as important as eating healthy meals. With all the screen time available to kids today, they seem to have far too much time sitting staring at one of those screens. It is wise to remember that monkey see monkey do so when you drink too much, when you smoke, swear or sit around all day doing nothing your little person is watching you. Don’t pass on bad habits to your child.
Do You Remember When
Do you remember when kids played outside with skipping ropes or played hopscotch or tag or hide and seek? Do you remember when we walked to school or rode our bikes? Do you remember when we never walked we ran everywhere? If you do then you probably also remember very few of those kids were overweight.
Has your child ever played with a skipping rope? When you can get one for as little as $5.94 why not use it as a stocking stuffer for Christmas. Even better just buy one and show your kids how to use it. They are on special at the moment, reduced from $9.99 and I am sure you remember how much fun you had skipping when you were at school. Your boys would love the wooden frog handles and the girls the ladybird handles.
Encourage your child to play a sport. Getting involved yourself and talking to your child about it is a great way to arouse his curiosity and desire to play. Join in fun runs, charity walkathons and take the kids with you. Make exercise a family thing that is fun for them.
To prevent obesity in your child and ensure he/she grows up to be a healthy happy adult simply look to the past keeping in mind the rules of healthy eating. Our parents and grandparents served three meals a day to their family and they always sat at the table with their family. There was always plenty of vegetable and fruit included in our diets.
We now know that trans fats need to be totally excluded from our diet and we are aware of what fats are good for us what fats are not. This was knowledge our grandparents and even some of our parents did not have. Even though we had healthy meals they were often cooked in trans fats which led to health problems as we aged.
Do you remember being told in strident tones, ‘Get outside and play.’ I certainly do. Now the rules have changed and we need to make sure the kids put on sunscreen, wear a hat and hopefully a suitable shirt or blouse such as a Rashie.
Encourage healthy eating and teach your kids some of games we used to play. Let them draw hopscotch on the driveway or chase each other for tag.
Lack of Vitamin D is also a modern day problem because we spend far too much time indoors. Vitamin D from the sun helps keep our bones healthy. We need vitamin D so our bodies can process Calcium so sending the kids outside to play ensures they get enough Vitamin D and helps to keep their bones strong and prevent Osteoporosis later in life.
We can eliminate obesity and reduce the risk of a number of health problems with a good diet and plenty of exercise so put the smartphones away, limit the screen time your kids have and get them out to play physical games. Beat obesity with old-fashioned common sense.
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