While the teens and young adults are busy trying to lose weight, parents of pre teens and primary school goers are facing a new epidemic called obesity. Adults have been facing this problem from a long time, but these days the rate of obesity in kids is increasing rapidly too.
Parents should remember that the fight against obesity should be aimed to make your child lead a healthy lifestyle and not turn him or her into an anorexic. Ages from 3 – 11 are the major growing years for kids and their diet and lifestyle at this age determines their life ahead.
The first thing you should do is limit the television and computer time. Make them explore the world in reality and not virtually. If they do not have kids of their age staying close by, then let them join any extra classes like karate or dance or swimming. This way they’ll learn something new and be active too. Again, do not overdo this to such an extent that your child is tired all the time.
Inculcate a healthy eating style in them from a young age itself. Just don’t assume that your child hates fruits and vegetables. Kids follow their parents, so before giving lectures to your child on their eating habits look at what you are eating. Do not reward your child with candies and sweets, find other ways to praise them for good behavior.
Now healthy eating doesn’t mean you stick only fruits and vegetables down your child’s throat. Their diet should involve a little of everything, even junk food and aerated drinks, but in a limit. A soda with every meal is a strict no no.
Home made food is the healthiest food you can give your child, take some time off to cook for them. You can replace white sugar with honey, salt with lemon juice etc. Inculcate tastes that they are fond of in healthy food so that they eat it with lesser complaints.
Keep sensible eating times for your child so that he doesn’t indulge himself in snacks that he is not hungry during dinner. Also, turn off the television during meal times, use this time to bond with your family and learn what is happening in each other’s lives.
Obese children are automatically labeled lazy and they suffer a lot in school. But more than the peer pressure it is the many health risks like Type II diabetics, various heart diseases, joint problems, ashtma, sleeping disorders and so on that is more life threatening. A little effort and care from you can assure a long and healthy life for your little one.