With super busy schedules, parents hardly find time to come home and cook. In such scenarios, children get used to the takeaway meals that their parents pick up on their way back home. In fact, after a while they look forward to it.
Growing children have a growing palate too and their taste buds get used to the foods you introduce to their diet, be it healthy ones such as vegetables or fruits or calorie-dense foods loaded with salt, sugar and fat. But while their taste buds enjoy the new tastes, their digestive system is hardly capable of metabolizing such foods, leading to fat storage.
What Is Childhood Obesity?
According to WHO, childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. It is particularly troubling in the essence that excess weight can put your children at a higher risk of serious illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and heart issues. It may also be one of the reasons behind your child’s low self-esteem and confidence.
But remember that there is a fine line between being overweight and being obese. You may not be able to tell just by looking at your child if he or she is overweight. Some children have larger body frames than others. The amount of fat on any child’s body also varies depending on the stage of development. So, if you realize that your little sweetheart is putting on too much weight suddenly, it is best to talk to his/her doctor.
Is There A Way To Fight Childhood Obesity?
Of course there is! Common sense would tell any parent that unhealthy eating and drinking habits consisting of foods rich in saturated fats, carbohydrates and sugar is going to make your child put on oodles of weight—not to mention the little amount of home-cooked food that children are eating nowadays owing to their parents’ hectic schedule.
The guilt that comes with you being away only makes it easier to trick you into a trip to the ice cream parlor as a consolation to make up for it. Besides, pizza night is ever so appealing, always. Without realizing, you may actually be the reason behind your child’s obesity.
As a parent you can take a few steps to take charge of your child’s eating habits and nutrition. You can encourage your child to eat healthy by:
- Packing healthier lunch boxes as opposed to ready-to-eat meals.
- Formulating innovative ways to include fruit and vegetables in their meals.
- Making sure they eat a healthy and proper breakfast each morning.
- If you are a working parent and do not find time to cook on a daily basis, you can cook healthier food over the weekends and freeze them in your refrigerator which can be used over the week.
- Not using food as a reward, whether for your guilt or any other thing.
- Refraining from taking the kids to eat outside regularly.
- Indulging them in simple cooking activities to keep them engaged with food and telling them about the benefits of vegetables or fruits while cooking with them.
- Not stocking your refrigerator with sodas, sugary treats and high-calorie snacks.
Is your child already obese? Here’s what you can do to help him/her.