(Written by Grace Beckett) Obesity is one of the major problems that affects both children and adults. Childhood obesity is very common now and the percentage of obese children has doubled in the last ten years. Obesity can lead to several health problems and it is crucial for parents to safeguard their children from it. Here are a few steps you can follow to prevent obesity in children.
- Adequate portions of food
The dinner plates that are available in the market these days are almost 2 inches larger in diameter when compared to those available two decades ago. The portions of food we eat are also bigger than before. Studies show that children eat how much is served on their plate. Keeping that in mind, always serve adequate portions, but not more, of food for your child.
Also, advise your child to have food in small bites and chew it until it is soft to swallow. Teach your children how much to serve for a single portion and ask them to serve food for themselves at times. That way, they can monitor themselves even when you are not around.
- Give your child the right kind of food
Avoid giving your child sweets, soft drinks, oily food and junk that have a high percentage of sugars and fats. These foods contain ‘empty calories’ which do not provide any kind of nutritional value to your child’s body. Instead, they just add to your child’s existing fat cells. It is always better to provide home made food for your child since fast food joints offer deep fried food that contains saturated fats.
Advise your children to consume vegetables, fruits, organic food, legumes, poultry, fish and non-processed food. Even when you go on trips, do not give your children junk food just to keep them busy or to prevent them from troubling you. This will encourage your children to eat even when they are not hungry. Instead, play their favorite songs or keep them engaged in a conversation.
- Eating wrong foods at parties and special events
Any party or a function will include lot of sweets, chocolates, ice-creams and soft drinks. Studies reveal that children eat more during such occasions than when they are at home. Make it clear to your children that they can have only one special treat when they are out. This will automatically reduce their food consumption and can help your children be conscious of what they are eating. Also, do not allow your children to eat in front of the television. While watching television, children fail to realize what they are eating and end up eating more than what is necessary.