The obesity rate for children in the United States is becoming alarming. Almost two-thirds of the children’s population is overweight, while 17 percent is obese.
These kids are exposed to the danger of becoming overweight and obese adults, who are prone to chronic diseases, including heart problems and diabetes. Moreover, they are also susceptible to depression and poor self-esteem later in life.
Causes of Overweight & Obesity in Children:
There are many reasons why children become overweight and obese. Factors such as environmental, cultural and lifestyle play a huge influence. Today, studies are pointing out that the high consumption of sodas and juices, reduced physical activities and large portion sizes are also major factors in children’s obesity.
Tips In Helping Your Kids Lose Weight:
When it comes to shedding pounds, the parents play a very important role in initiating the changes. Your children don’t have the ability to be responsible alone for their diet.
Kids don’t read food labels, or prepare their own food. Parents are the ones, who can do all these for them. Moreover, you as parents should encourage them to move more than just sit and play their gadgets.
Here are ways to help your kids kick off the extra weight:
Cut out sugars and processed foods.
Sugars and processed foods contain tons of calories. Once your kid avoids these food groups, you’ll see the benefits it will bring to your kid’s health. Focus on eliminating deceiving calories. For instance, be wiser in choosing processed foods that say “low fat,” or natural juices. Processed foods usually have plenty of sugar and other ingredients to add flavor. As much as possible, prepare your kids healthy meals and snacks prepared from scratch. A healthy chicken sandwich or tuna sandwich will be healthier than low-fat cookies.
Choose a food pattern that works.
You need to encourage your child to eat healthy. Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you’ll introduce a low-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. You should let your child understand that eating healthy is something that they need to be strict about to lose weight. Focus on the importance of eating healthy foods that would nourish and fuel the body to perform at its best. For instance, a Mediterrenean diet that introduces healthy fats, fruits and vegetables is an ideal diet for kids who are overweight and obese. It is also perfect to guard your kids against the development of diabetes and heart problems.
Prepare meals at home.
This can be challenging for some parents with a busy schedule, but it is one quick way to ensure that your child is eating the right kinds of food and portion sizes. When you prepare meals at home, you can ensure that they get the right nutrients they need.
Encourage your child to move.
Another way to lose weight is to inspire your kid to move and engage in physical activities rather than to just stay home. The problem of kids today is they don’t really move. They are contented playing gadgets while sitting or lying. The sedentary lifestyle plus the wrong food habits adds up to their increased weight. You can jog with your child, or do walks together. You can also encourage your child to participate in sports or let them play outdoors during weekends.
Involve your kids in the kitchen.
Your children will appreciate it better if they would be part of the preparation of their meals. Let your kids help you in the kitchen. Let them cut vegetables or meat, or mix the ingredients. Every week, ask them dishes they want for the family. Encourage them to help prepare and cook the meals.
Anna Glenndale finished her Degree of Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of California. She is a certified nutritionist and works as a consultant in one of the prestigious hospitals in California. During her spare time, she shares writes on topics of proper nutrition, dieting, exercise and heroin addiction treatment & rehabilitation.