How to Help Your Kids Eat Better
By Sara Butler
Instilling good eating habits in your children is literally a matter of life and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 6 American children are clinically obese, a condition that can have an impact on their lifelong health and wellness. Here's what you need to know about childhood obesity and how you can help your child to eat healthier.
How Obesity Impacts Children
Childhood obesity impacts your child's entire life. There are emotional and social aspects that can damage their well-being, but obese children also tend to perform worse in school, have a lower quality of life, and are more susceptible to chronic disease over the course of their lives.
Childhood obesity has become a problem in the last few decades for a multitude of reasons, but there are simple aspects you have control over: How much junk food your kids eat and how much exercise they get. If you can focus on those two aspects of your child's life (as well as your own!), then you can have a real impact on their lifelong health and wellness.
Teaching Your Children Well
Everyone should eat more vegetables. Researchers have found time and again that diets rich in vegetables are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and certain types of cancers. The problem is that less than 15 percent of children actually get the recommended amount of vegetables per day in their diet.
One way to help your child eat more vegetables is simply to expose them to new and different things. While children may not be known for their willingness to try new things, kids who are exposed to more vegetables tend to eat more of them.
Keep fresh fruits and vegetables on hand, available to your child at all times. Encourage healthy snacking and prepare meals that are heavy on the veggies. Even if you're on a tight budget, you can still offer plenty of fruits and vegetables by:
- Shopping local - Seasonal produce often costs less and has more nutrients
- Going for a sale - Find a good sale and stock up
- Going frozen - Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh, and often less expensive
- Eating at home - Eating out is a sure-fire way to get more junk in your diet, so eat at home when possible
- Having a vegetarian night - Your kids may love taco Tuesday, but try adding in a meatless Monday too
Give your children the tools they need to stay healthy their entire lives!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Riverside, Calif.