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Child Obesity- Their Fault, or Ours?

May 2nd, 2012

Child obesityChild obesity in America has reached epidemic levels these past few years. In fact, a third of the country’s children are overweight. Physicians and health experts look at two primary reasons as the cause of this problem: lack of physical activity and poor nutrition. Children nowadays are simply not eating the right kind of food. It’s easy to just put the blame on fast food and sugar-rich beverages. But as parents, we also play a big role.

Parents and guardians have the responsibility to encourage kids to eat healthy and choose a healthier lifestyle. We set an example through our daily habits and the choices we make every day. Here are some tips on how you can influence your kids towards healthy food options:

  • Set a good example. Your child follows after you. If they see you eating junk food often or skipping meals for sweets, don’t expect them to easily believe you when you tell them these aren’t healthy for them.
  • Make healthy food such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains always available and accessible in your house. When a child sees them often, it will be a subtle reminder for him or her to include those in their diet. You are the one purchasing food in your house. If they don’t see junk food at home, they won’t be able to eat it.
  • Plan your meals. It should be a balanced diet that includes whole grain, pasta, protein food like beans, lean meat, cheese and fruit for dessert.
  • Do not allow your child to choose his/her meals. Let them eat whatever you’re having. According to experts, when a child is picky, it means he/she’s not that hungry.
  • Do not prohibit treats for the kids.  Allow them to eat chocolate chip cookies once in a while  just limit the amount or frequency. By doing so, you are putting less pressure on your children and they won’t feel stressed by your diet plan.
  • Teach your kids to stop eating when they feel full. Do not force them to finish all of the food in their plate. Otherwise, they might develop overeating habits.

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