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Your Role As A Parent To Prevent Childhood Obesity
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In recent years, the number of U.S. children who are overweight has increased significantly. Ten percent of which are children 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 children 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 higher 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 ways to begin:
1. Start by promoting healthy lifestyle in your home.
Let your child grow up with everything healthy in your kitchen. Fill your fridge with fruits and vegetables. Do not introduce him to unhealthy snacks, as well as soda. Serve him healthy meals. You may have a hard time 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 alert 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 allow him to use computer right after school or during weekends if not necessary or limit the time he spends for it. The same goes in watching TV programs. Familiarize 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 interested and give him training 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 restaurants that serve healthy meals.
It does not mean that because you want to prevent childhood obesity you will not permit 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 lead him to fast food chains. There are restaurants that offer delicious yet healthy meals. Bring him to these types of dining places.
4. Do not ban sweets at home.
The more you stop him from eating sweets, the more he will crave for them and he will even tend to overindulge whenever he has the chance. What you should do is to offer him a limited amount of candies, cookies and others, and slowly lead 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 problems. You also allow him to live with a better quality of life. A healthy child grows to be happier and more alert.
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