How to Keep Kids Healthy and Trim
By Genevieve Cunningham
The epidemic of obesity and excess weight has been on the rise for years. With our world becoming more virtually connected and less physically active every day, the chances of becoming overweight are steadily increasing. While this used to be a problem associated mainly with adults, children are now seeing the impact of our less than healthy lifestyles.
So, what’s really the problem with a few extra pounds? It’s tough to find the middle ground between obsession with weight and maintaining a healthy body fat percentage, especially when it comes to kids. But, the problem is not in appearance which matters very little in the grand scheme of things. The problem is that excessive weight leads to troubling diseases later in life. Diabetes, cancer, blood pressure problems, and even early stroke have all been linked to childhood obesity. To help your kids maintain a healthy lifestyle and protect their long-term well-being, check out these tips.
Buy Appropriate Foods
Children can only eat what you buy. Take a look at your kitchen cabinets and refrigerator. Is it full of sweets, processed foods, and quick microwave meals? While convenience certainly has its place in the world, food is rarely one of those places. Do your best to stock your kitchen with fresh food, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limit the processed junk as much as possible. If you want your children to be healthy, offer them foods that help meet this end goal.
Lead By Example
Do what I say and not what I do is literally never going to work. If you tell your kids to eat healthy and exercise, but you don’t do it yourself, they’re likely not going to do it either. You have to set the example in the home. Alter your own diet and exercise routine, and wait patiently for your kids to follow your lead. It won’t happen overnight, but with persistence and patience you can lead your entire family to better health.
Get Them Active
Television and computer games can be wonderful babysitters when you really need it. Waiting forever for the doctor to arrive? Stuck for hours on an airplane? Great … use those devices to help keep our kids sane. But, are your children using these devices all day, every day? Are they involved in any sort of physical activity? Sports? Dance? Gymnastics? Get your kids involved in something that forces them to move their body. Help them learn to love exercise from a young age, and you’ll likely have children who make movement a priority their entire lives.
It’s not a good idea to obsess over children’s weight, as that can lead to self-esteem issues, poor eating habits, and other mental side effects. But, it is a good idea to make healthy habits a top priority in your home. It’s never too late. Use these tips to get your family on the right path and your children on the road to health and happiness.