Fighting childhood obesity is something every parent should strive for. While no parent wants their child to be fat, many practice unhealthy habits that lead to this. So, if you want to help your child be at a healthy weight, consider the following areas of their life:
Diet: This is not to say you should put your child on a diet, rather pay attention to what their diet consists of. If your child eats a lot of processed foods, like mac and cheese, hot pockets, dino nuggets, corn dogs, etc. and are not getting veggies and fresh fruits, etc. then there is a chance they are on a path to obesity. What your child eats is going to greatly affect their weight. If you want your child to be at a healthy weight, keep healthy foods on hand. Go to the store and buy healthy foods, then portion them out to help control portioning. In addition, to that, help your kids find good food that they enjoy. Instead of buying hostess cakes, chips, fruit snacks etc. consider buying dried fruit, whole grain pretzels, raisins, cheese slices, etc.
Provide home cooked meals, not packaged pre-made stuff full of preservatives, artificial colors, etc. Provide healthy snack foods instead of foods filled with sugars. Provide real fruit juices and water instead of Kool-Aid and Soda. The healthier you feed your child, and the sooner you start feeding them healthy, the better chance they have of being at a healthy weight.
Exercise: Is your child getting enough exercise each day? Your child does not need to be on a structured exercise routine, or working out with a trainer, but being physical and moving daily is important. Does your child spend time out doors running, biking, playing, etc. or do they spend the majority of their time in front of the screen, be it computer or television? Help your child get moving by spending time moving as a family. On weekends go hiking or biking. When you need to get moving on a regular basis, consider going on a walk after dinner. Play Frisbee, or freeze tag with your kids, anything you can do to get them moving is good.
Lifestyle: Consider your child’s lifestyle, if they live a lifestyle that encourages obesity, that is probably what you are going to get. This means if you are showing your children that you get home from work and flip on the television, pop the top to a soda, and pig out on junk food, then that is what they are going to do. If they see you living a healthy lifestyle, they will as well. Kids often mimic what they see. So, show them a positive lifestyle so that they will live one.
Positive body image: If you want to fight childhood obesity do not focus so much on your child’s body but rather on good health. The more you fuss over how much weight they have lost, gained, put on, etc. the more stressed they will be and the harder it will be for them to have a healthy body weight. So, do not talk about how fat you are, or that you need to diet, etc. in front of them, instead, have a positive body image so that they will.