In 2011 nearly 20% of America’s children were obese and unless parents start to do something about it, the numbers for this year are likely to be even more dismal. What do these numbers mean? Basically two out of every ten children in America are obese. Ignoring these depressing numbers will only lead these children to struggle with many health issues such as; diabetes, heart disease and liver problems, to name a few.
Attacking obesity is the responsibility of the parents as nutrition is a huge factor, then the lack of being physically active makes up the difference. Children love to emulate grown ups, if parents start introducing healthy eating and exercise at an early age, children are most likely to grow with those habits into adolescence and adulthood.
A great place to start with young children is play groups, toddler gymnastics and outdoor activities rather than indoor activities. Some children are hesitant to try new fruits and vegetables, here’s what I did to help my children get through that stage. I incorporated my love of reading to my children and taught them that trying new things can be a good thing. Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs & Ham is a wonderful book to read to your child, the moral of this story is that Sam would not even try the green eggs and ham just by the look of them, but when he finally gave in and gave them a try, he loved them. Instead of buying the book, you could head to your local library for an outing and read to your child in a quiet area.
Another important thing is to help your child to socialize with other children by exposing them to other children as much as possible. Sign your child up for swimming, a dance class – basically anything that will get them physical active that will not only keep their weight down but build their self-esteem.
Fighting child obesity is not easy, it starts with the parent. Today there are too many electronic gadgets that entertain our children, families need to consider allotting a certain amount of time to cooking healthy meals and organizing fun fitness activities, together, as a family.
What do you do to help keep your family fit and healthy? Share your tips with us and help save families from obesity.