Obesity has been an increasing health problem world-wide. In the United States alone, 74.1% of adults are overweight or obese. This is indeed alarming. But what’s more alarming is the result accumulated by the Center for Control and Disease Prevention (CDC) that indicates that in the past two decades, obesity has been afflicting children and adolescents as well. 15-25% of the children and adolescents in the United States are now overweight or obese. A further study shows that most overweight or obese young ones stay this way even until they reach adulthood. This article provides simple tips that parents can do to help their children lose weight.
Tip #1 Start Early
Children develop their eating habits and interest in exercise as they grow. Raising a child in a home that follows a balanced diet and emphasizes the importance of exercise can guide a child to practice the same later in his life.
Tip#2 Set a Good Example
Children born from obese parents are more likely to become obese as well. In a child’s eyes, what his parents do and say is correct. You may tell your child to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, but if he sees you eating that half-pound burger instead, he will most likely follow what he saw than what you said.
Tip#3 Stuff Your Home with Healthy Foods
Manipulating the food choices your child has in your home can help him lose weight. Kids require a lot of energy, so make sure you provide them with healthy carbs from whole-grain cereals and low-fat dairy products. Use healthy oils to cook food; these are oils that are low in saturated fat and high in mono-saturated fat like olive oil and canola oil.
Make fruits available anytime in case they want to have some snacks; kids usually grab the first food they see. Serve healthy food that are fun and appealing to the eyes, you may serve a happy face fruit platter by using kiwi slices for the eyes, peeled banana for the mouth, mango slice for the nose and orange slices for the ears or serve a chilled fruit salad with low-fat whipped cream.
Tip#4 Set an Activity Day
Allot a time for an activity day at least once or twice a week. Engage in activities that you and your kids enjoy, like basketball, baseball, swimming, biking, dancing or anything that will help you and your child exercise. Also, together with other parents; organize a small neighborhood Kid- Olympics where the kids in the neighborhood get to have a friendly competition on different outdoor games. This way, not only your child get to burn calories through physical activities, but he get to have fun and develop his social skills as well.
Tip#5 Limit Video Games, TV, and Computer Time
A study by the Journal of Pediatrics show that watching too much TV cause excessive weight gain, this is because the time that should be allotted for playing physical games are replaced with sitting in front of the TV and munching on junk food. Also, most TV commercials advertise high caloric snacks and fast food chains causing kids to crave for the unhealthy food they saw on TV. Just like TVs, another culprit for the sedentary lifestyle of the kids today is the advent of video and computer games. Limiting these sedentary activities and encouraging the kids to engage in sports are great ways to help your child convert the calories to energy.
It is good to control what your kids eat but do not restrict them from eating. You may treat them to McDonald’s once in a while, just don’t make it a daily meal. A simple rule of thumb, give your kids the amount of food that is proportional to his daily activities.
Author Alex Chris. Alex is a parent of two children and a healthy weight loss blogger. In his articles you can find many ways on how to lose weight healthy, safe and natural.