Are your children overweight or heading in that direction?
I get everything there is to get about being overweight. I have had a few rather large periods in my life that are embarrassing, uncomfortable and downright tough, when none of your clothes fit or are so tight the muffin top is ready to explode. I don’t think I have ever had a skinny day in my life!
Both of my girls were incredibly skinny at toddlers, but as they grew up it was evident that nature was not going to keep them skinny, and it took a lot of effort on my behalf to show them better ways to live that would let them keep their weight under control. Well into their teens, things are under control with both of them growing up and not out! I am hoping that the valuable lessons I have learned will carry them through to a happy and healthy adulthood.
Around one in five Australian kids are overweight and are therefore probably going to be overweight adults. The scary part of this epidemic is the health related issues they are going to have to deal with such as heart disease, diabetes, and mental health problems. Being overweight makes them prime candidates for bullying!
When children are small, we have complete control over what they eat, but as they grow older and influence from others takes hold, so many bad habits are becoming normal behaviour. Just this week, the newsletter from my youngest daughters High School, made mention of the incredibly high number of children on the school grounds with energy drinks and soft drinks, and how this was not appropriate behaviour. Many of these kids are hooked on these drinks are daily consumption is normal practice.
Good habits start at home, and I am not a complete food nazi, my girls do have take away and treats, but not as an everyday thing.
TEN WONDERFUL WAYS TO HELP YOUR CHILD AVOID OBESITY
1. FOCUS ON HEALTHY AND POSITIVE LIFE CHOICES, NOT ON DIETING AND WEIGHT LOSS – Help, guidance and positive role models will help to send your kids the right messages about food and being a healthy weight. Try to avoid critical comments about anyone’s weight and avoid comparisons with unrealistic bodies such as models or athletes.
2. NEVER USE SWEET TREATS AS A REWARD – A common practice is to give a child lollies or similar for good behaviour, but this sends the wrong message and can help create unhealthy eating behaviours. Let the whole family enjoy treats together occassionally, but not as a reward, simply for the enjoyment.
3. BREAKFAST IS ESSENTIAL – Kick start the day correctly with a healthy breakfast, go for eggs, wholegrains, dairy or fruit. Breakfast provides fuel for the brain and kickstarts the metabolism.
4. LIMIT THEIR TV AND COMPUTER TIME – With just about every child having access to a computer and if they had their way would simply while away hours on social networks or playing games, it is so important to get them up and moving as much as possible. Make it a family priority to enjoy active time together. Use computer time as a reward for getting moving.
5. RECOGNISE HUNGER VS. BOREDOM – Children will often raid the pantry out of boredom not actual hunger. Three meals a day plus 2 snacks should be it. No other random eating should be permitted. Snacking will often stop them from being hungry at meal time and getting the nutrition they need.
6. EAT MEALS AT THE TABLE NOT IN FRONT OF THE TV – Eating together around the table used to be common place, but more often than not this valuable practice seems to be a things of the past. Use this time to have family discussions, make plans, talk about issues and catch up on gossip.
7. STOCK YOUR FRIDGE AND PANTRY WITH HEALTHY FOOD – If the kitchen is full of healthy food, that is what your family will consume. The chips, lollies and other treats will usually be the first food of choice by a raiding child.
8. DOUBLE UP AND FREEZE – A couple of nights a week, cook a double batch of a healthy dinner and store the left-overs in the freezer for those nights when you are running late or simply cannot find the energy to cook. This will stop you from turning to take-away on those days. Left overs can also make healthy lunches for the next day.
9. COMPLIMENT AND ENCOURAGE – Where ever possible, compliment healthy and positive choices that your child makes. Go out of your way to find even the smallest accomplishment and help to build their self-esteem and positive self belief, and throw in a kiss and cuddle for extra good vibes. We often put so much energy into telling our kids off when they are doing things wrong and forget to recognise the good things when they happen.
10. MAKE IT A FAMILY AFFAIR – A healthy family needs to be a team effort. Plan a outing or excursion as a reward for healthy choices. A rewards chart where everyone earns points for good choices can add a little ‘healthy’ competition to the effort put in by everyone.
Good health is one of the best gifts you can have to travel through life with. Every effort made now will reap rewards for the future and we all deserve that!
If you like taking a natural and positive approach to raising happy and healthy kids, you will enjoy e-book – How To Unlock Your Child’s Super Powers, A powerful guide to help your child be the best they can be and create and extraordinary life! It is packed full of tips and tricks for both you can your child. To discover whats inside and to download your copy, click HERE
What is your best tip for keeping families healthy?
Sharing for #IBOT with Essentially Jess