The obesity rate in children is increasing at an alarming pace. Heart disease, asthma, and diabetes are just some health concerns kids are predisposed to when they gain weight.
Child obesity leads to serious emotional issues too. Overweight kids are often excluded from physical activities and they’re frequently teased by their peers. This leads to depression and low self esteem.
The good news is there’s hope. Positive role-modeling, support from the family and encouragement can help your child adopt a healthier lifestyle. Parents should raise more awareness about the importance of eating right.
Developing healthy habits in children
Healthy eating habits begin in the family. The best approach you can take to prevent or fight child obesity and additional weight issues is to get the entire family on the right eating path. Better food choices and exercise will benefit everyone, whether they’re overweight or not.
When the whole family is involved, your kids won’t feel the pressure and they’re also be more willing and open to a diversified menu based on healthy treats. Parents should be role models for their kids. But then again you shouldn’t force them to eat what they don’t like.
Take things step by step, and adopt a lifestyle they can draw inspiration from. Eating vegetables on a daily basis and exercising regularly will pick their interest. The more active you are and the better you eat the greater chances you have to change your child’s perception about food and exercise.
Tell your kids about the benefits of healthy eating
The best way to convince your kids that proper eating is good for them is to adopt a healthy lifestyle yourself. Include salads into your diet, and explain them why they’re so beneficial to one’s general well-being.
Invite them to taste what you eat, and they might even like that broccoli salad with yogurt sauce. If you’re an avid cook, then make sure to do it in front of the kids. Give them age-appropriate tasks and talk to them about the ingredients and about why they’re beneficial to their health.
Make small changes and take things one step at the time
When attempting to help the kids reach and maintain a proper weight, it’s very important to make small changes and take things one step at the time.
Don’t wake up one day and force them to go for a run with you; they certainly won’t like that they have to wake up early on a Sunday just to go for a jog. Start by introducing physical activities and foods that the whole family is willing to try. For example, you can go for a walk after supper rather than hit the couch to watch TV.
When it comes to exercise, you have to be creative. Do it yourself regularly, and at some point they’ll want to know more about what you’re doing. Talk to them about the perks of a daily routine and invite them to join.
Nutrition & supplementation
If you have an overweight child, helping him reach an ideal weight can be challenging. And yet it’s not something impossible to achieve provided that you can make him understand why it’s so important to eat right. Start by acknowledging that children have specific nutritional needs.
There are vitamins and minerals they need on a daily basis, but they can’t get it from food. According to your child’s needs, a pediatrician may recommend you daily multivitamins. Children with chronic health conditions like asthma or those who eat a lot of junk food are most likely vitamin deficient.
A pediatrician may recommend calcium supplementation for bone strengthening, or vitamin C to help boost their immune system. Take out fizzy drinks from your child’s diet, but do it step by step.
Don’t put any pressure and under no circumstance ban sweets all of a sudden. Include a daily vitamin but do it under the strict supervision of your doctor. Kids have different nutritional needs, which is why it is ideal to have them checked out first.
Turn healthy eating into a daily routine. Include more healthy smoothies in the morning, and reward your kids with a snack every time they’ve eaten something they don’t particularly enjoy, like broccoli and other veggies. In time, their weight will adjust and they’ll grow up strong and healthy.