Reducing Childhood Obesity Risk for Improved Health
By Donna Stark
Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, joint pain, depression ... these types of health conditions can affect anyone, but did you know that childhood obesity increases the odds of them occurring? That's right. The weight of your child right now will have a huge impact on their overall health and wellness in the future. Sound scary? It should because many of the health issues that could occur are no walk in the park, but that doesn't mean you can't do something about it.
Healthy Habits for a Healthy Future
Feeding your children a healthy diet and making sure they are engaging in physical activity are two of the best ways to reduce childhood obesity, but they may be difficult to implement if your child isn't used to them. Here are a few suggestions on how to make the changes as painless as possible.
- Make it a routine - Children thrive on routines. It's important to stay consistent with these healthy new habits, but you may want to start with baby steps though. Drastic changes and children don't mix very well together. For a healthy diet, you could start off by skipping the sugary cereals in the morning and sneaking some amazing nutrition into a morning smoothie. And for exercise, why don't you begin with play? Take your kids to the park and chase them around in a game of tag. They won't even know they are getting healthier.
- Choose healthier snacks - Meals are easy to control because more than likely, you are cooking them. But snacks? Well, they are a different story. Usually, snacks are something that children get themselves and they will always choose the ones loaded with sugar and fat. So, instead of buying those bags of chips and boxes of cookies (if it's not in your home, your kids can't eat it), fill your kitchen with fruit, crackers or pretzels, and raw vegetables.
- Limit screen time - Your children are sitting most of the day during school, so try to limit the amount of time they are sitting at home. Come up with a plan to limit the amount of screen time that everyone in the family can agree to. You may experience some pushback at first, but if you plan it right and fill the time with activities that are fun and engaging, it won't be long before your children stop missing those electronic devices.
Improving Health One Day at a Time
Childhood obesity is becoming more common with each passing year, but with some simple changes in your daily routine, you can reduce that risk in your children's lives. Take action today and protect their health now and in the future!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Eagan, Minn.