How to Prevent Childhood Obesity, Avoid Weight Gain in Children
Obesity seems like a pandemic and almost every second person seems affected by it in some magnitude but in most of the cases it is manageable. There are very few reasons which make this problem unmanageable and most of causes of obesity are avoidable. Childhood obesity is also one of the major concerns of parents today. Obesity has strong genetic component but if genes are given proper signals then fat causing genes can remain dormant throughout life. Some simple tips and easy changes in diet and lifestyle can prevent childhood obesity and allow a person to stay healthy and fit for longer period in life.
Encourage your child to avoid harmful foods which are high on fat, carb and sugar. There are many ways by which you can persuade your child to suppress temptation of eating potato chips, crackers, chocolates and other kind of fast and junk food. These types of food items not only contain fat-causing compounds but manufacturers also use preservatives in these to increase their shelf life. Children get attracted to these due to peer pressure and advertisement on TV and internet. Talk your child out of this web of fast and junk food and encourage him to eat fresh and healthy food. If you can minimize intake of such types of food it becomes much easier to avoid weight gain in children.
Keep fresh fruits and healthy food readily available. Children get hungry few times in a day and they need something immediately. When the child is hungry and you do not have time to cook then these freshly available fruits would work. Ensure that you always have fruits like apples, banana, pineapple, papaya, berries, etc. in your refrigerator and oats, wholegrain breads, corn flax, etc. in your kitchen so that you can easily and quickly cater to their hunger. This way you can develop your child's taste for healthy food and easily prevent childhood obesity.
Keep your child physically active. This is another step to avoid weight gain in children. Persuade them to play outdoors, join them to encourage and play active sports like soccer, tennis, etc. once your child develops his or her interest in any outdoor game they would prefer these in place of video games. This way you can reduce sedentary time in the day and allow them to burn more calories. Swimming, dancing, cycling or simply running are some of the other activities in which you can join your child on regular basis and not only help him to stay fit but also improve level of your fitness level as well.
Persuade your child to exercise. Basic weight training or other little strenuous exercises will shape and enlarge their muscles. Muscles need more calories to stay energized than fat, when your child gains on muscle mass his body will burn more calories than normal. This will not only prevent childhood obesity but will also ensure sound physical development. Again, here too, you can lead by example, participate in exercises to keep them interested and keen. Tell them how they are gaining by these exercises and how these are making them fitter and stronger. Strenuous exercises three-four times in a week are more than useful to avoid weight gain.
We all have favourite dishes. For children there is no reason to stay away from their favourite dish. In some cases you just cannot convince them to eat something else. Do not lose heart. Make some changes in the method of cooking and eliminate harmful ingredients and replace them with healthier ones. In other words make your child's favourite dish healthier. This way you will let him or her eat only what is healthy and without annoying and frustrating them. Little changes in the approach to handle the child can easily prevent childhood obesity.
Be lenient and flexible. Do not even dream that you can just cut beverages, chocolates, burgers, etc. completely out of your child's life. Once in a while you can let them taste these things too. Do not become over-protective or strict. This can make your child stubborn and he may stop listening to you. Occasional intemperance in diet is not going to harm him and will keep him satisfied too. Encouraging child to not to eat such things in a friendly manner is better approach to avoid weight gain in children than trying to stop him or her strictly.
Ensure sufficient rest and sleep as well. To avoid childhood obesity diet and physical activity are indispensible but restful sleep is also very important so that body gets enough time to recuperate and recover. Always keep your child's sleeping place in the quietest place of house so that he or she does not get disturbed by your late night or early morning chores. Let them sleep for sufficient duration and discourage late night activities in all forms. Avoid frequent medication as there are certain salts which are commonly found in medicines which we use indiscriminately for treating minor ailments, which promote obesity. Do not give medicines without doctor's advice and discuss about their side effects. These steps are very useful and prevent childhood obesity effectively.