Childhood obesity is a worrying condition which has seen a steady increase in the USA over the last decade. A diet based on processed food and a limited amount of exercise are seen as the two main culprits. However, there is a lot we can do to ensure that our kids remain at a healthy weight while they are growing up.
Obesity can have detrimental effects on our child’s mental and physical well-being, so it is important that we get on top of this as soon as possible. If you are concerned about your child’s weight or are a new parent, then these five tips to prevent childhood obesity will come in helpful.
Your pediatrician will regularly check your child’s weight during their well-child exams and help you with any issues that arise. It is vitally important that you stay on top of this because childhood obesity can lead to all sorts of childhood complications.
While it is normal for kids to go through growth spurts and put on weight during their development; however, if their Body Mass Index (BMI) is too high then they are not at a healthy weight, and immediate action should be taken.
Get The Diet Right
The first thing you can do as a parent is ensuring that your child has a healthy balanced diet which minimizes saturated fats and sugars. This doesn’t mean you have to ban candy and potato chips from the house; instead you need to educate your kids on moderation and the risks of binge eating.
Starting your kids on healthy snacks from a young age will help to minimize their need for these products. Obviously, chocolate and candy could be used as a sweet treat, as can a round of burgers or a pizza night, but it should never form the basis of a child’s diet.
Keeping hydrated can act as the first line of defense against hunger pangs. If your child regularly drinks water, then they will not feel the need to eat so much. Minimize sugary juices and sodas as they contain large amounts of sugar and preservatives, which increase hunger and can add to weight gain.
Natural fruit juice, water, and herbal teas are all great choices to keep your kiddies hydrated throughout the day.
Regular exercise is crucial to the healthy physical and mental development of children. They should be encouraged to be active throughout the day and avoid spending hours in front of the TV or computer.
You can start from an early age by playing active games with your kids and then encouraging them to take up sports. Make a family walk part of your weekend routine or always have a selection of sports equipment in the car for family trips.
Limit Screen Time
It is an unfortunate fact of the modern life that we spend a lot of time staring at screens in all areas of our lives. Our little ones want to watch movies, play game apps on phones, and communicate with each other via social media. While we will not debate the pros and cons of this in this post, we will raise one note of caution.
If your child is continuously on electrical devices and uses it before bed, it can have a negative impact on their physical development and their sleep patterns. Blue screen light can interrupt our natural sleep rhythms, which is not ideal for kids, as sleep is a vital part of their overall development.