Your Role as a Parent to Prevent Childhood Obesity

By: Wanda Curry

Recently, the number of U.S. children who are obese has risen substantially. Ten percent of which are little ones whose ages are 4 and 5 years old. This percentage has been doubled for the past two decades. For those with ages 6 to 11, 1 out of 5 kids is overweight. For the past 20 years, this number has disappointingly increased by over 50 percent while the number of obese kids has almost doubled. These children are now at a greater risk of developing chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, asthma, disordered sleep patterns, liver disease and others. Because you do not want this to happen to your child, it is time to prevent childhood obesity. These are the approaches to begin:

1. Start by pushing healthy way of life in your home.

Let your child grow up with everything healthy in your kitchen. Fill up your fridge with fruits and vegetables. Do not expose him to unhealthy snacks, as well as soda. Serve him healthy meals. You may have difficulty asking him to eat vegetables if he is already in his teenage years so you have to start while he is toddler.

Do not allow him to go to school without eating his breakfast. This will give him enough energy and attentive mind for the day. Give him freshly squeezed fruit juices, low-fat milk, oatmeal, whole grain cereals and others. Prepare brown bag lunches for him in school.

2. Engage him in sports and outdoor activities.

Do not let him to use computer right after school or during Saturdays and Sundays if not essential or limit the time he usually spends for it. The same goes in watching TV programs. Acquaint him to other activities - healthy at that - that he can do. Enroll him in swimming lessons, basketball training and others. Know which sport he is most attracted and give him education for it. During weekends, ask him to join you in an early morning jog, walk or run. You may also plan family activities like camping, hiking and biking. Share with him the benefits of sweating out.

3. Bring him to dining establishments that provide healthy meals.

It does not mean that because you want to prevent childhood obesity you will not let him experience dining out. Take him to a nice restaurant once a month, it does not matter. What should matter are your food choices. Do not get him to fast food chains. There are restaurants that give delicious yet healthy meals. Bring him to these sorts of eating places.

4. Do not prohibit sweets at home.

The more you prevent him from eating sweets, the more he will long for them and he will even have a tendency to overindulge whenever he has the chance. What you should do is to offer him a restricted amount of candies, cookies and others, and slowly get him to fruit-based desserts and snacks.

A healthy body is your best gift to your child. You do not only keep him away from future health difficulties. You also allow him to live with a better quality lifestyle. A healthy child grows to be happier and more alert.

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Fredda Branyon has dedicated her life to the advancement of complementary medicine. Fredda Branyon Scottsdale AZ has worked diligently to educate both patients and physicians on the true power of hope.

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