As much as adults are struggling with losing weight, children are also growing obese. Statistics show a sharp increase in obesity rates among kids in the last years, and experts foresee a steady climb in the next.
Obesity is one of the leading causes of major health problems, including diabetes, bone disorders and early heart disease. While the goal is to maintain (or restore) a healthy weight to prevent such problems, parents very well know that this is easier said than done. The simple reason behind this is eating healthy and getting active is just hard, and for kids, it isn’t exactly the definition of fun.
What you then have to do is be a little more creative in introducing healthy habits to your kids. Here are ways to do that.
Get the family active
Rather than doing what other families usually do, be more purposeful when planning your family activities. It should be geared towards your children being more active. Know how much weight your kids should lose. Consult doctors for kids in Salem who can give specific instructions about the frequency and intensity of physical activities based on your children’s health. From your doctors’ recommendations, map out your family bonding time.
Swimming, biking, mountain hiking are just some fun family activities you can try. Whatever you choose though, be extra sensitive to your kids’ needs. Some overweight children hesitate to do activities because they’re embarrassed that their bodies are incapable of accomplishing such. So keep your options open and welcome their suggestions.
Make their favorite dish healthier
The good thing about vegetables is they’re very versatile. You can include them right into your kids’ favorite meals. For instance, if they love spaghetti, consider switching up the regular noodles with zucchini noodles. If your child is into pizzas, use cauliflower as the crust and shredded carrots as toppings. Make fries out of baked asparagus or parmesan carrots.
To pull off this switch in food, make sure that everyone in your family digs in. Kids imitate what adults and siblings do. So when you’re not touching that spinach or beans on the table, they won’t care about it too. If possible, involve the kids as well in preparing meals. When they’re the ones who prepared it, they’re more likely to eat it. Consider growing your own vegetable garden at your backyard, and assign the kids in caring for it.
Create bedtime rituals
Not having enough sleep can cause weight problems, making your children more at risk for obesity. This is due to the fact that when there’s less sleep, the level of hormone that increases hunger tends to be higher. Now, bedtime isn’t exactly the most fun time for kids. Especially now that they have mobile apps and games to play until the wee hours of the night.
But there are ways to make bedtime easier. One is to create a ritual before sleep, say, reading a fairy tale or listening to music. This will not just calm them down, but also make for a signal that it’s time for bed.
Obesity is a serious health problem that can significantly affect children’s lives. Curb the problem right at your own home with these easy steps.