Beat Obesity: 6 Tips to Keep Kids Healthy in 2009

Posted: January 7, 2009 in food, health, nutrition, Nutrition Tidbits, Uncategorized, Weight Loss
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All parents are concerned with their children’s health and welfare, and most have their kid’s best interests at heart when it comes to nutrition.  But with increasingly busy schedules and lives, it is becoming harder for families to sit down to the dinner table every night with a wholesome, healthy meal. And it shows in the “obesity epidemic” that’s a rising concern in United States. Beware of six big mistakes parents make with kids and food.

You want your kids to be healthy – and happy — when it comes to nutrition. Don’t fall into these unhealthy traps with your little ones:

1.    Giving in to the temptation of fast food.  It’s so easy when you are running a million miles a minute to make that quick stop through the drive-through so you can ensure everyone gets to the places they need to be, and on-time.  However, fast food is filled with fat, calories and unhealthy preservatives. Stopping at your favorite fast-food joint once in a while can be a treat, but making it a regular habit can lead to obesity and many more health problems down the road.

2.    Not setting good examples.  Children learn behavior from their parents . . . monkey see, monkey do.  Even though it seems like that they are constantly ignoring you, they are watching you very closely most of the time. If you’re an unhealthy eater, they likely will be too. In addition, many adults are trying to lose weight and not always in the safest ways.  If your kids see you obsessed with your body image, they may develop an unhealthy image of their own bodies which could lead to serious diseases like anorexia and bulimia.

3.    Not cooking healthy, well-balanced meals.  Because you are so busy, it is tempting to just throw something in the microwave or whip up a batch of boxed mac-n-cheese instead of providing a healthy meal.  Most microwave and packaged meals are loaded with chemicals and preservatives and don’t provide a well-rounded dinner. It’s amazing how many healthy dishes can be prepared in 10 minutes or less, such as grilled chicken or baked fish fillets. If you must resort to packaged foods, add healthy side dishes such as fresh veggies or fruit.

4.    Not educating your children.  It is essential for children to understand the importance of proper nutrition.  It is not enough for you to tell your kids to eat what’s on the table; you need to tell them why it is good for them.  If they understand that proper nutrition will help them become strong, healthy individuals, they are more likely to develop good eating habits and eat a healthy diet for the rest of their lives.

5.    Not encouraging exercise along with a healthy diet.  Sitting down to watch television or play a video game is acceptable – in moderation.  Oftentimes such activities are accompanied by unhealthy snacks, and replace physical activity. As a parent, you should encourage exercise on a daily basis and limit the amount of time spent in front of the TV or game console. By making exercise an activity the whole family can enjoy (such as going on nightly walks or shooting hoops) you are much more likely to guarantee your kids’ participation. 

6.    Denying your kids the occasional treat. OK, you know that candy and fast-food are bad for your kids. But they are in fact kids, and what would the childhood experience be without an occasional treat? By completely denying your kids the foods they enjoy, you are setting them up for failure. They may resort to sneaking treats or over-indulge when presented with a sugary snack. But by allowing the fun stuff in moderation, you’re teaching them habits they can implement for a lifetime.

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There are so many distractions in your hectic life: jobs to balance, soccer games to attend, and dinner to make on top of it all.  Resist the temptation to take the easy way out when it comes to nutrition and your children will benefit for the rest of their lives.

This is a huge ( no pun intended) problem that everyone needs to address
Get Strong! Stay Strong! (and get our kids fit!)
Chris
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Comments
  1. […] qhealthbeauty wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt   […]

  2. yea, if left alone my daughters would eat cookies and cake all day. some of our biggest discipline times have been in withrawing sugar from their clutches.

    sugar is like crack for kids… it makes em fat, sick and stupid. candice pert mentions that it has the same effect on your brain as does heroine in her book Moleques of Emotion (i think)

    good post.

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