An alarming percentage of the population is classified as overweight. Nearly two-thirds of adults are overweight, as are approximately 20 percent of children between the ages of 6 to 19. These numbers can cause great concern and stress for parents. Having excessive weight can cause long-term chronic health issues and put people at risk for Type 2 diabetes, injuries, high blood pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer. With regard to children, child obesity can cause a lifetime of health issues as well as a lack of confidence that can affect their mental health.
There are several reasons that this generation of children is especially vulnerable to becoming overweight. A lack of movement, large-sized portions, and technology are all contributing factors. As a parent, it’s up to you to recognize whether your child is at risk. Here are some ways that you can help reverse the trend.
Work With A Coach
Health coaches work with adults and children as a whole to provide recommendations on necessary changes to the current lifestyle. You can solicit the help of one of these highly qualified professionals or you can acquire a health coach certificate and do the work with your family and others yourself. What an incredible way to be a role model for your children!
Implement A Well-Balanced Diet
A healthy, well-balanced diet is essential to the proper development of children’s brains, organs, bones, and muscles. It should consist of lean meats, good fats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Avoiding excessive amounts of salt, sugar, and saturated fats will help to prevent unwanted weight gain. Plus, sugar itself can make kids feel more anxious, so it’s important to limit the amount of daily sugar.
One way to get children to eat in a more healthy way is to involve them in the preparation of meals. Offering choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner gives them a positive role in their health. Making plates look appealing is another way to encourage them to eat good foods. It’s also important to have plenty of healthy snacks on hand for in between meals. Cancel out the cookies and danish and instead offer things like fresh fruits, raw vegetables, yogurt, and trail mix. They are low in calories and provide an abundance of vitamins, restoring energy to the body.
Too many children are consumed with electronic devices. While technology is important and necessary at times like online learning, it can hinder your child’s ability to develop a strong and lean physique. Sitting for many hours on games or watching YouTube does nothing to stimulate the mind or work the body. Instead, set limits for daily usage and monitor what they watch. If they must be on for several hours during the day for virtual school, then be sure they take many breaks throughout the day, such as stretching, running around, and yoga moves.
Add More Exercise
Exercise is such a huge component of children’s health. They need physical activity to grow strong–both inside and out. Unfortunately, most children simply don’t get enough exercise and this is contributing to the obesity problem. Thankfully, you can turn things around. Take a walk after dinner and plan activities over the weekend that require physical exercise. You can go to the park, take a nature walk, or take a family jog or bike ride together. During the week after school, they can toss a ball, play jump rope, or dance to their favorite songs.
Drink Lots Of Water
It is so important that we encourage our children to drink enough water every day to help them stay healthy and balanced. The body is made of over 60 percent water, and it is so critical to our health. Water plays such an important role in how our body functions. All of our organs, including our brain, need water to work properly. If we’re dehydrated, our body is strained and we can become stressed and edgy. Dehydration can actually cause symptoms that feel like anxiety, such as dizziness, muscle fatigue, headache, feeling faint, increased heart rate, and nausea. Drinking water can be soothing, and our body can benefit from the added hydration when we are stressed. Instead of providing juice or milk between meals, give your child a tall glass of water. It has no calories, thwarts hunger, quenches thirst, and keeps them hydrated.
Learning the value of a healthy diet combined with physical activity will allow children to maintain a healthy weight and good eating habits that will help them feel happier and calmer throughout their life.
What are your family’s favorite healthy habits?