Childhood obesity is increasingly becoming a problem as it has other health implications on children physically and emotionally as they grow. Being obese also makes them prone to teasing and bullying which could lead to depression and isolation. Over time, if childhood obesity is not prevented, these children become obese teens and adults which then becomes an increasingly hard task to shed off the weight.
It is easy for a parent to think that giving their children everything they never had and letting them have their way is the best way to give the children the perfect upbringing. Nobody has the answers to perfect parenting but we can give you tips on preventing childhood obesity:
1. Introduce physical activity and make it fun
Introduce and encourage children to engage in physical activity in school and at home. From skipping rope, football, swimming, brisk walking or any other physical intense games activity that can help them stay fit. This is because children may not find physical training interesting and may detest it.
2. Homemade food
This is the only food that you are in control of preparing from start to finish. Include your children in making the decisions of meal preparation and even grocery shopping. This will contribute to making them responsible in the choices of what they take with or without your supervision.
3. Healthy meal options
Include snacks and bites in between meals. Ensure that their favourite dish is made with a healthy recipe. Ensure that snacks are fruits, nuts or controlled portions of homemade snacks made of whole grain products, low-fat or non-fat dairy products while reducing calorie rich snacks.
4. Lead by example
Children learn best through imitation than lectures. While you encourage them to engage in physical activity or eat healthy, ensure that you are doing it with them. This makes it easy for them to understand the importance of staying healthy and learn the best habits through you.
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Encourage children to take more water as it reduces their thirst and need to crave junk foods or take processed juices and soft drinks. Water is also known to reduce appetites and ease digestion.