With the rising levels of Obesity amongst children, it is certain that a plan of action should be set in order to control the numbers. Not only is obesity associated with excessive weight and high waist circumference, but also more serious outcomes such as type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, high blood cholesterol, sleep apnea and many more.
Studies show that kids who suffer from obesity at a young age are more likely to carry on the extra weight as adults, therefore it is important to start them young.
Calorie restricted diets and food deprivation should be avoided as kids also need adequate nutrition for growth.
Below are top 10 tips we compiled to help build a strong base for your child to assure a healthy lifestyle:
1. Keep healthy food at home
Kids are more likely to have what is always around at home, if you keep healthy food, they’ll eat healthy, if you keep junk food, it would be the first go to option as it is more tempting!
2. Get creative with food
The eyes eat first, and it’s true especially with kids. Get fancy with preparing food! Rainbow fruits skewers, frozen grapes or even fun shapes with toast.
3. Eat or drink your Rainbow
Encourage your kids to have their daily dose of 5-a-day fruits & vegetables, if they don’t like to eat them, you can prepare a smoothie or a milkshake with nutritious ingredients.
4. Involve your kids in food preparation/cooking
This will help in developing good eating habits and strengthens family bonds!
5. Be a good role model
Children tend to follow your lead. Making healthy food choices at home and doing regular physical activity or sports will inspire your kids to do the same.
6. Get Active
Encourage your kids to develop a hobby they enjoy by giving them the chance to try different types of activities until they find what they really love, they’ll be more likely to stick to it if they enjoy it!
7. Celebrate Achievement
If you find your child making healthier choices, reward them by positive re-enforcement, this will increase their motivation and boost their self confidence, and also, never reward a good behavior with food!
8. Enjoy family meals together
According to several studies, Children are less likely to have the wrong foods when eating with the family!
9. Limit Screen time
Studies show that kids who limit watching TV had lower body fat percentage; as it encourages them to do more outdoor activities such as foot ball, cycling or sports.
10. Provide full support
Building healthy patterns amongst kids requires full support that goes throughout their early years and not just during a specific phase. Parents should monitor their eating patterns and school habits regularly to make sure they’re on track.
Setting stones for a healthy future generation of kids is a social responsibility that requires the intervention of a multi-disciplinary team. With consistent efforts and dedication to a healthy cause, together we can make a difference!
Here's to a healthy future generation :)