Childhood Obesity is considered an epidemic in the United States. This is alarming since 80% percent of all overweight children become obese in adulthood, according to studies. Obesity is associated with many health problems including cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, if you want your child to grow up as a healthy adult, you should ensure that he is of normal weight in childhood and even when he’s still in your womb. You can make this happen by doing these:
1. Don’t Eat Excessively During Pregnancy. When you’re pregnant, the urge to eat a lot is stronger. Stick to a healthy diet. Avoid junk foods and too much sweets. An overweight mother often gives birth to an overweight baby.
2. Breastfeed for the First Six Months. Your milk perfectly matches your baby’s needs during the early months of his life. Thus, breastmilk doesn’t result to fat babies. Some medical professionals permit giving babies solid foods as early as four months of age. However, it’s still preferable to give your baby pure breastmilk till he’s over six months old.
3. Don’t Allow Junk Foods for Snacks. When buying snacks for your children, read labels. Stay away from food items with high sugar and fat content such as soda, sugar-coated cereals, gooey cookies, etc. Don’t make eating fast food a habit. Encourage nutritious snacks such as raw fruits or cookies that you’ve made yourself.
4. Serve High-Caloric Dessert Sparingly. Do not serve desserts every meal or even every day. Train your child to eat sumptuous breakfast instead. A full breakfast prevents the mid-morning blood-sugar drop that many kids experience therefore diminishing their need for frequent snacks. At dinner, offer a light meal with fruit or soup.
5. Make Your Child Eat His/Her Veggies. Be creative in your cooking. Make veggie dishes attractive. A common trick is to hide vegetables in your child’s favorite foods. For instance, you can put grated carrots in muffins or squash in pancakes. Teach by example. Show your child how you relish eating vegetables.
6. Encourage Exercise. Make regular exercise a part of your family’s lifestyle. Join your kids in physical activities like jogging in the park, a game of badminton, swimming, dancing, basic aerobics, etc. Persuade your children to engage in outdoor sports instead of staying at home watching TV or playing computer games. Tell them why it’s better for them to walk to school (if it’s possible) instead of riding a vehicle, and to use the stairs instead of using the elevator.
7. Educate Your Child On Healthy Habits. Advertisements on TV and other media are usually the culprits for making your child want unhealthy food. Patiently explain to them why these foods are not good for them. Always remind them of the benefits of eating a balanced and nutritious diet.