You may have heard the statistic that one out of every three adults is obese. This is scary. What’s even scarier is that one in five children is obese. Childhood obesity is an epidemic that’s spiraling out of control and it goes far beyond aesthetics; obesity in children predisposes them to the same chronic diseases that plague adults-diabetes (YES in kids!!!), heart disease, joint issues, sleep apnea, etc. The good news is, that you-as a parent-can take control of this. While physical fitness is essential to health,
nutrition is the foundation; so here are 5 ways you can begin to improve the way your kids are eating:
1.) Set the example. It starts with you! Your view of both fitness and nutrition will be projected onto your kids, so keep this in mind when making decisions about eating and exercising.
2.) Keep soda, juice and any sort of sweetened beverage out of the house. No matter how active your kids are, they don’t need the added sugar in these drinks. This includes sports drinks! The best way to hydrate is with water. This will save you in dental bills as well
3.) Keep healthy options in the house and make them easily accessible. Have grab-and-go fruits (berries, apples) and pre-cut veggies on a shelf your kids can reach or in pre-portioned baggies! If you have a treat in the house, keep it on a shelf that’s out of arm’s reach for a special occasion.
4.) Take them to the grocery store and have them pick out a new fruit or veggie they’d like to try. Then-have them help with the meal prep! While it might slow down your process to have little hands in the mix, this makes food fun for kids. Plus-they’ll want to try the fruits of their labor!
5.) Help them to see the relationship between the way they feel and what they eat. Rather than calling a food “bad” point out, “If you have a donut for breakfast, you’ll feel sleepy after and may have a stomach ache. If you have a scrambled egg and some oatmeal you’ll have lots of energy for hockey practice.”
As Thomas Edison said, “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” Set your kids up for success and allow them to reap the benefits of good nutrition from an early age. And the next time you are stocking up on “treats” ask yourself, what are you really treating them to?