4 Tips to Help your Child Fight Childhood Obesity

Halloween, Slumber Parties, Birthdays — Sometimes, It Seems Like Childhood Is One Humongous Food Fest!

It is difficult to deprive your child of special delicacies and delights when all of his or her friends are having a grand feast.

However, not consciously being aware of what your child is eating can bring about more trouble than you had planned. Treating your child occasionally may be good, but giving them the chance to devour all the sweets and treats that they want could mean one big problem — childhood obesity.

Are genetics really linked to being overweight?

In some instances, people claim that genetics can play a major part in childhood obesity. It does, but not as big as the role that parents’ mindset and influence do. It is a falsehood that the child genetic makeup will induce a child to be heavy at an early age.

Your genetic makeup may establish the lower maximum values of your weight, but you are the one who establishes the higher maximum values, by your food choices.  Since most kids cannot simply set the limits and choose the food that they need to eat, it is the duty of the parents to set the limits.

Parents Must Set the Limits

Children rely on their parents for proper, healthy nutrition.  Here are some tips that will help you keep track of your child’s food and eating habits and help him fight childhood obesity.

1. Halloween

Yes, it is that time of year again.  What are you going to do?

As the only festival dedicated almost completely to overeating on sugar laden treats, Halloween holds an extraordinary struggle for most parents dealing with childhood obesity.

This can understandably be a very tough time for your child to get through, but you can make it easier.  Focus on the spirit of the season and make a special haunted house for the kids, or let them have a “spooktacular” party with ghost stories, rubber spiders, and the old “spaghetti intestines and grape eyeballs” game.

For younger kids, a costume party with pumpkin painting and other activities is always fun. The important thing is that you veer your kids away from any signs of sugary sweets.

2. Sleepovers & Overnight trips

The first solo sleepover can be nerve-wracking for both you and the host parents.  Kids old enough for slumber parties and overnight trips are typically at least starting to manage some of their own food and diet habits, which helps.

Spend some time with the other parents in advance of the event to give them a briefing on what your child might potentially need, and make yourself available via phone for any questions they might have.  Share in providing food for the night.  Provide them with healthy snacks that they can eat and give them nutritious foods to cook.

3. Nutrition Conscious Kids

It is important to teach your child about the kinds of foods that they should be eating.  Take some time from your busy schedule to teach your child the comparative effects different foods have on them.  You can discuss why you are buying certain things while shopping or cooking certain things for supper.  This will build the awareness that your child has for making better food choices.

Also keep in mind that if your child is old enough to read, they can start learning about food labels.  Let them ask questions or make a game of it. It is better to teach them early how to read food labels to help boost their food awareness.

4. Healthy Snacks

Your child, just like you, needs snack throughout the day to keep a well-balanced diet and their energy levels high.

The best way to prevent childhood obesity is to allow them to snack on the right foods.  Give them some apples instead of a bar of chocolate.

Keep in mind that eating is a habit.  When your child(ren) develop healthy eating habits from the very start, they will grow healthy and strong.

Use the tips above the next time you are concerned about what your child is eating.  You will begin to instill healthy habits into their lives as well as yours.

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