Many reports have shown the recent rise in obesity among children. This is actually a huge source of concern not only for parents but for the world as a whole, as this opens up an entire generation to higher risks of various obesity-related disorders later in life, and can have a huge negative impact on health care facilities. With the advent of easily available food items which are high in unhealthy nutrients at low costs, the overall well-being of the nation’s children is at risk, as it is quite convenient to simply let kids snack on junk food.
How Can You Prevent Your Child’s Obesity? Effective Methods!
With busier schedules and go-to meals, children these days seem to have little knowledge of what encompasses a healthy, home-cooked meal. Moreover, with a rise in screen time and the obligation to stay indoors after the covid-19 pandemic, children have been forced to lead a sedentary lifestyle, which in turn contributed to unnecessary weight gain and in turn, obesity. Here, is a comprehensive guide for some changes that you could inculcate in order to ensure that obesity and your children, maintain a safe distance from each other.
1. Develop a habit of eating healthy:
The best way to maintain your child’s health is to ensure that they eat healthy foods. Provide them with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other such nutrient-packed foods, which not only provide them with energy but also ensure that there is less consumption of unhealthy calories and trans fats. Try your best to give your kids a balanced diet, encompassing various seasonal fruits, vegetables as well as vitamins and minerals. Switch to low-fat dairy products, and try to find healthier alternatives when it comes to consuming meat. There are plenty of unique recipes online which integrate healthy foods with tasty herbs and spices so that it becomes easier for children to eat them, so perhaps you could look some of them up, especially if your child is a particularly picky eater.
2. Encourage physical activity:
In this digital age, where children are always in the vicinity of a multitude of screens, it can be hard to motivate them to exercise. However, this is necessary if you want to protect your child from the dangers of obesity. Exercising has many benefits such as improved blood circulation in the body, improvement in overall mood, weight management, and reducing the number of stress children may feel. If you find it hard to encourage your child to exercise, then it might be wise to take up physical activities as a whole family. This could include going river-rafting, hiking, et cetera. Encourage your children to cycle to nearby places, and introduce them to the world of outdoor games that you might have engaged in as a child. You can even sign them up for after-school sports activities so that they can derive the benefits of participating in group sports activities as well. Some other options could also be to establish specific screen times so that children may be motivated to engage in physical activities instead.
3. Develop a sleep schedule:
A lack of sleep may prompt children to eat a lot more and to lead a more sedentary life. This kind of lifestyle could in turn lead to obesity. Moreover, studies reveal that children require more sleep when compared to adults, so you must ensure that your children receive a good dose of sleep. Establish a definitive bedtime and encourage your kids to adhere to them. You may even develop a reward system in order to motivate them to follow these set protocols. Have a habit of turning off the lights at the designated bedtime so it inculcates a sense of regularity in the child’s mind. Take away any electronic gadgets at night so that you can restrict your child from staying up late while being glued to the screen. You may also cut down on your child’s overall screen time in a day, as research shows that excessive exposure to screens can disturb the sleep cycle.
Although obesity can seem like a looming threat for children, especially in this generation, following the above steps can be quite useful in curbing it. The important thing to remember is to motivate your children to follow a healthy lifestyle so that it becomes a routine and to be consistent with it. Steer clear of any processed, junk foods and encourage your children to make more mindful food choices.
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