Childhood obesity a complex problem in several countries around the world. It doesn’t spawn with one single cause. As a parent or guardian, you can help prevent childhood obesity by creating healthful eating habits. This can be done by encouraging the whole family to get involved in this healthy eating lifestyle.
To start with, your child must eat breakfast. It might be his or her most important meal of the day. Have you ever wondered why morning meal is called breakfast? That’s because it’s the time you break from the overnight fast. A healthy breakfast will provide your children necessary carbohydrate to sustain blood sugar levels, prepares muscles for the day’s activities, and direct vital nutrients to every cell of the body for growth. Making your child eat breakfast in the morning can also help in preventing him/her from getting hungry in the morning and potentially overeating later in the day.
A Study shows that children who eat breakfast have higher school attendance, less tardiness, and rarer hunger-caused stomach pains in the morning. They will be able to concentrate better, solve problems with ease and have better muscle coordination.
Sticking to home
A further method to maintain a healthy weight for children is by eating more often at home than outside. Research shows that portion sizes served at quick restaurants have ballooned throughout the years. 20 years ago, a single order of french fries would just be 2 ounces (210 calories). Today, a regular order of fries is nearly 7 ounces (610 calories). Another study found that every adolescent eats too many calories at fast food restaurants. However, obese teenagers are largely prone to overeating when eating out. Even though a lot of restaurants offer low-calorie options and healthy courses, most youngsters go for high-calorie burgers, large french fries, and chicken nuggets.
Reducing portion size
A behavioral research shows that environmental signals like wide plates and large cups stimulate us to eat and drink more compared to when they’re smaller. Therefore, you should consider weighing down on the plate and cup sizes, not just for the kids, but for your whole family as well.
Eating regularly can also help holding hunger at bay. If your children are active, eating 2-3 healthy snacks with 3 meals a day is already nutritious. Maintaining this frequent meals and snacks at child-sized portions will help keep an eye on the calorie intake. Eating snacks may not be associated with obesity. Children love eating snacks, and it can be a good method to heighten nutrient intake. Just don’t forget to keep snacks healthy, which can be done by including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods, and nuts. Also, don’t forget to keep the portion sizes small. Snacks are NOT meal replacements and they shouldn’t be more than your kid’s meal.
Children and teenagers must join a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. If possible, it can be done every day. You can be an example by integrating physical activity into your personal daily routine and encouraging your children to join. These activities could vary from walking, jogging, swimming, biking, and etc. There is no shortage of physical activities that you and your children can both participate.