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When contemplating your healthy lifestyle, don’t forget your children, 15% of American children are overweight. Compared to children with healthy weights, overweight children run a serious risk of the heart diseases, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Type 2 diabetes, once considered an adult disease is occurring in children at escalating rates. Overweight children have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. Another serious consequence overweight children face is perceived discrimination which can lead to lower self-esteem and depression. There are however steps we as parents can implement to help diminish these alarming numbers. Start by being a role model, lead by example, healthy eating habits and physical activity are good for the entire family.
These Tips Really Work in Achieving Better Healthy Lifestyle
- Turn the television off.
- Learn about nutrition together.
- Plan activities together.
- If your child is overweight emphasize their good qualities and let them know how much you love them.
- Remember any weight-loss program should be supervised by a physician.
- Use the food pyramid when planning meals (there are numerous sources available on the net).
- Eat breakfast each day, even if it’s only toast and a glass of juice, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
- Make chooses that limit fat intake when choosing meats, dairy and other foods.
- Make sure your child drinks 6 to 8 cup of water per day.
- Try games like “fruit hurt”, for younger children, (from Easter egg hurting) to make eating fruit more fun.
- Freeze different fruit for delicious frozen treats.
- Choose brown rice, whole wheat or rice pastas over enriched versions.
- Keep plenty of health snacks at home such as: fruit, yogurt, nuts, whole wheat crackers and peanut butter, bit size veggies, microwavable popcorn, raisins, pretzels, 100% juices and frozen smoothies.
- Get involved with your children’s activities, designate an activity hour each day (1 hour 5 times per week) and participate in these activies with your child.
- Keep toys and games around the house that children can do together or alone, indoors or outdoors, items such as: roller skates, jump ropes, hula-hoops, balls, racket games, glider planes, Frisbees, music for dancing and aerobics, mats for yoga and calisthenics or any items you feel will keep your child active.
- Again, don’t forget to hug your children and tell them how much you love them no matter what their weight.