Obesity is one of humanity’s greatest concerns and unfortunately it is not reserved only for the adults who can stand behind their life decisions. According to World Health Organization more than 41 million children under the age of five were overweight or obese in 2014. These numbers are likely to grow in the following years. However, obesity is a condition that is both preventable and treatable, and since our kids are not mature enough to make proper decisions in order to avoid it, it is up to us to help them develop healthy lifestyle habits. Let’s see how.
Help Your Kids Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Healthy nutrition is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. That is why it is of the utmost importance to teach your kids how to eat healthy from their earliest age. Here are some of the guidelines you should follow:
- Opt for lean meats – Food like hamburgers, steaks and similar meats are very often high in fat, so you should avoid them. Instead opt for lean meats or any other food rich in protein like fish, chicken and beans.
- Try to stick to whole grains – Whole grains contain the original grain parts, consisting of fiber and other nutrients that are good for your kids. Refined or processed grains have those parts removed. So, instead of white bread, pasta and white rice, try to feed your kids with cornmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc.
- Put the focus on fruits and vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are filled with healthy nutrients so they should be the main part of your kids’ meals. Also, when they need a quick snack, it is much better to give them an apple or a banana, than cookies, chips, and other unhealthy food.
Avoid Unhealthy Diets and Supplements
Both unhealthy diets and various supplements can only backfire and threaten your kids’ well-being. Instead, teach your kids to eat slowly, tell them that it is ok to leave their meals unfinished if they no longer feel hungry, and split their three standard meals into six smaller ones. Once you cut down the waiting time between meals your kids will less likely overeat, and smaller and more frequent snacks will keep their metabolism engaged for a prolonged period of time.
Engage Your Kids in a Physical Activity
Of course, the physical activity doesn’t have to be some kind of sport. There are more than enough ways to keep your kids active in some other fun and engaging way. So, if your kids are not too much into sports you can always take them to long family hikes, spend some quality time with them at the pool, take them to a trampoline park, or even sign them up for yoga lessons. If they love video games introduce them to Kinect or Wii.
Forget that You Have a Car
Cars can sometimes be lifesavers but when we use them for even the simplest errands and to travel to small distances, they have passed the point where they’re useful. Teach your kids not to resort to cars and you driving them around and buy them a bike, skateboard, rollerblades or anything else they might prefer.
Motivate Your Kids
Finally, your kids will never acquire healthy habits if they see them as something mandatory. They have to find something for themselves. Therefore, try to explain to them the importance of active lifestyle and try to focus on the more positive side of the entire situation. Find them some good role model they can look up to. Love, support and admiration are much more powerful motivators than fear.
Obesity is very clear and present danger. The best way to fight it is to cut it in its roots. Teach your kids some healthy habits and help them develop an active lifestyle which will reduce the chance of them becoming overweight.