Providing Children With A Healthy Diet – Help Stop Child Obesity
As parents, we have to set a good example to our children and we want to give them the best start in life. We are our children’s first teachers and have a huge influence on their lives. A lot of habits developed in childhood can stay with us for the rest of our lives, and this can certainly be the case when it comes to diet and eating habits. But why are so many children becoming obese?
Reasons For Child Obesity?
There seems to be numerous factors which are contributing to childhood obesity, here are some of the more obvious ones: –
The rise in popularity of fast food restaurants.
Fast food joints targeting kids (happy meals with free toys).
Parents working longer hours and less stay at home parents (less time to prepare meals).
Greater reliance on processed and convenience foods.
The popularity of computer games and the internet (children are getting less exercise).
Rising levels of obesity in adults (setting a poor example).
A poor diet coupled with greater levels of inactivity seem to be at the heart of childhood obesity problems. It is down to us as parents, to ensure our children eat a wholesome diet and get plenty of exercise.
Providing Children With A Healthy Diet
Children tend to do what you do, and not just what you say. Lead by example and eat a healthy diet, eat as many wholesome meals as you can together as a family. Introduce children to as much different fresh fruit and vegetables as possible, healthy eating habits need to be developed. Children also tend to get quite hungry between meals, and this is when they can consume a lot of calories. It is no good providing healthy meals if your child is going to fill up on unhealthy snacks in between them.
Healthy Snacking For Kids
Try and keep high-fat calorie packed snacks and beverages such as crisps, sweets, soda and chocolate as a treat, rather than an everyday occurrence. Instead why not try a few of these healthy snacks: –
Fat free yoghurt.
Unsweetened fruit juice.
Low fat cheese.
Whole grain bread.
Growing children need plenty of food, but make sure portions do not get out of control.
Keep Children Active
You must try and limit the amount of time children play on computer games or the internet. Children need plenty of exercise in order to stay healthy and burn plenty of calories. Plan plenty of family outings and physical activities that everyone will enjoy. You could get a dog and go on plenty of walks, or enroll your child in a club or team that provides an activity they enjoy. It is critical that as a parent, you lead an active lifestyle. If your children see you constantly sat on the sofa watching television, they are unlikely to be motivated to get active.
Providing children with a healthy diet is an important job for every parent, giving children the best possible chance to eat a healthy diet and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.