Preventing childhood obesity requires making decisions about how your family eats, exercises, and spends time together. Parents who set a good example for their children can assist them in leading healthy lifestyles. Read our part 1 for more info, click here.
Diet and way of life
From fat-filled fast food to processed and packed meals, much of what we eat is quick and easy. Because daily routines are so hectic, there is little time to prepare healthier foods or exercise. Portion sizes are excessively enormous both inside and outside the home.
Aside from that, modern life is sedentary. Children spend more time on electronic gadgets than they do actively playing outside. Children who watch more than 4 hours of television every day are more likely to be overweight than children who watch 2 hours or less. In addition, children who have a television in their bedroom are more likely to be overweight.
Physical Activity and Exercise
Many children do not receive enough exercise. Older children and teenagers should engage in at least one hour of moderate to intense activity every day, combining aerobic and muscle- and bone-strengthening exercises. Active play should be done multiple times a day for children aged 2 to 5.
Weight gain in children can be influenced by genetics. Our genes play a role in determining our body type as well as how we store and burn fat. However, genes alone cannot account for the contemporary obesity epidemic. Multiple members of a family may battle with weight since genes and habits are passed down from generation to generation.
People who grow up in the same household have similar eating habits, physical activity levels, and attitudes on obesity. If one or both parents are overweight or obese, the chances of their child being overweight or obese increase.
How Can We Prevent Obesity and Overweight?
Taking a whole-family approach to keeping kids of all ages at a healthy body weight is crucial. Make exercising and eating well a family affair.
Allow your children to assist you in planning and preparing healthy meals. When you go food shopping, bring them with you. Teach children how to make healthy eating decisions.
Try to stay away from these typical pitfalls:
Don’t use sweets or treats to promote good behavior or to deter poor behavior. Look for additional strategies to alter your behavior.
There is no such thing as a clean-plate policy. Even babies signal that they’re full by turning away from the bottle or breast. If your children are full, don’t force them to eat more. Remind them that they should eat only when they are hungry.
Don’t talk about “bad foods” or outright prohibit all sweets and snacks.
Outside of the house, children may resist and consume forbidden foods or sneak them in on their own. Serve healthful foods the majority of the time and occasional pleasures.
Additional suggestions for children of all ages include:
Breastfeeding from birth to age one may help avoid excessive weight gain, in addition to its many health benefits.
From the age of one to five, establish positive behaviors. Offer a range of nutritious foods to help shape food preferences. Encourage children’s natural desire to be active and assist them in honing their talents.
Ages 6 to 12: Encourage youngsters to be physically active every day, whether on a sports team or during recess with a pick-up game of soccer.
Maintain your children’s physical activity at home by engaging them in everyday activities such as playing outside or taking a family stroll. Allow children to take a more active role in making healthy food choices, such as packing lunches.
13 to 18 years old: Teach your kids how to make nutritious snacks and meals at home. Encourage kids to make healthy choices outside of the house and to engage in physical activity on a daily basis.
All ages are welcome: Reduce your time spent watching TV, talking on the phone, using the computer, or playing video games, and avoid eating in front of a screen (TV or otherwise). Serve a range of healthful foods to your family and try to have meals as a family as often as feasible. Encourage your children to eat breakfast every day, consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, and avoid sugary drinks.
Discuss the significance of eating healthy and staying active with your children. Eat healthily, exercise consistently, and incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine to set an example for others. Make it a family affair that everyone will look forward to. Let us know in the comments how do you install healthy eating in your family…