Parents; you can prevent childhood obesity
Childhood obesity is on the rise in this country and it is showing no sign of going down and now is the time for parents to take responsibility and tackle the problem. According to safefood.eu 1 in 4 children is overweight or obese and obese children are more likely to become obese adults. Parent's may find it difficult to recognise that their child's weight is not healthy as they see their children every day and can be unaware of a little weight gain until it becomes a bigger problem than it should be. Due to the rise in technology children are not as active as they once were, less children are walking to school and many youngsters are watching more TV and have TVs in their rooms. The issues are that all these things combined could cause your child to gain weight and potentially become obese.
The impact on a child’s health is astonishing with bone health affected, psychological problems and breathing problems in the short term. The long-term effects are obviously worse with cancer, diabetes type 2 and heart disease all consequences of obesity. The good news is that obesity or being over-weight is preventable and with a few tips listed here and a change in your attitude you and your family can be healthy and happy for the years ahead…
How to encourage healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle
Make family favourite meals healthier- Put more vegetables into your food and reduce the addition of shop-bought sauces or packets. Consider reducing fatty meats and think about portion control for all the family as most plates are bulging and people overeat though they may not be overly hungry.
Remove calorie-rich temptations- Do the weekly shop and allow for one treat day but for the rest of the week encourage the family to adhere to a good and healthy diet.
Help your kids understand the benefits of being physically active- Kids should know from a young age how to look after their health through healthy eating and exercise. It is never too young to start and you should teach kids about good and bad foods that are bad for their health and their teeth!
Encourage kids to stay active- Try not to sit around on the weekends or on the sunny evenings instead gather up the family and get outdoors. It is vital for children to be outside and play. Keeping active will improve their posture, muscles and bones.
Reduce screen times and lazing around- Screen time is fine now and again but it should be supervised and reduced if the kids are spending too long on devices. If you notice your kid isn’t getting outdoors enough you should step in and encourage them to go outside. Buy slides, pools or bikes to show them that they never will be bored.
Model good eating and exercise practices- Be a good role model and eat well while participating in exercise regularly. Children whose parents lead an active lifestyle will follow suit and it will become the norm to them.
Written by Emma Hayes, staff writer with Family Friendly HQ