Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Combat Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is rising at an astounding rate each year. There are severe problems developing with over eating and obsessing with food. How do we fix this? The best way is to prevent it. Here are some tips for both you and your kids, to make sure you're both on track for the healthies eating lifestyle.

- When it's time to eat, eat. Don't play games, watch TV or talk on the phone when it is time for a meal or snack. When you are preoccupied, you either don't eat the things you should because you are busy thinking of other things, or you eat way too much
- Don't lick the plate. Some times parents tell their children to clean their plate, or they think they have to. This is opposite what should be happening! Both parents and children should always eat their veggies, and after that just listen to their body, they know when they should stop
- Food is something to give you energy, not something to reward you or someone else with. When it turns into a reward, all it does is teach your body to eat when it isn't hungry
- Parents should be a role model. If they are snacking on fatening snacks all day, drinking soda and not eating veggies, they can't expect their children to.
- Don't ever ban a food. When you make a food off limits to your kids, most likely as soon as they aren't at home, they will eat as much as they can of that food. So have treats occasionally, but make sure it isn't constantly around
- Remember your child shouldn't eat like an adult. That is, they don't need a huge steak for dinner. They should have bigger servings of fruit and vegetables with a moderate amount of protein and carbs. Nothing like adults eat
- I made a mistake...the one thing you can ban is sweet drinks. There is no benefit from soda, all it does is add inches to your waist and damper your immune system with each drink. Encourge your kids to not drink it outside your home either, and make your house a no soda zone. Milk and water should be your best friend
- Still have a sweet treat after meals, like apples and a little peanut butter to dip them in, or any other fruit with some yogurt and granola. Have treats, but make them healthy!
- Be an example by being active every day, and encourage family activities that are active. When your kids have fun while moving, they will remember that and want to be active more.

Let's all do our part to combat this epidemic of childhood obesity, and instead raise a generation of healthy, happy kids!

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