Are Parents to Blame For Childhood Obesity?

 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over the past three decades the obesity rate for children between the ages of 6-11 has tripled. As a result the cases of childhood Type 2 diabetes has exploded, as has the number of cases of bone and joint problems caused by excessive weight.  Our super-sized society is literally jeopardizing the health of our children. From big gulps to “biggie sized” fast food meals –  society promotes unhealthy eating habits in our children.

Yet, even inside the home we continue to encourage poor feeding habits. Typically parents will tell kids to eat everything on their plate, yet our plate sizes have grown over the last decades. Nine inch diameter dinner plates were once the norm. Now eleven inch diameter dinner plates are commonplace. May not sound like much of a difference but realize that an eleven inch plate holds 33% more food than a nine inch plate.  The result – we are simply over-feeding our children.  What can you do to help fight the epidemic of childhood obesity? Try these tips. They’ll encourage healthy habits in your kids and keep more of your hard earned money in your wallet.  Switch to smaller plates.

Simply moving from an 11 inch dinner plate to a 9 inch dinner plate will result in you serving 33% less food. The best thing is that after a few nights your family won’t even mind the difference. You save money and help to ensure the health of your children by serving less food.  Stop purchasing potato chips, cupcakes, and other junk food for the house. Instead, make your children purchase their candy, chips, and other snack foods with their allowance. This once simple step will teach your children about financial decision making at an early age. It will also likely result in a reduction in the amount of junk food they consume.  Make a habit of serving water instead of juice with one meal a day.

Try to make it the same meal each day, say with every lunch or with every dinner. Water is a healthy alternative and much cheaper than juice.  Similarly, consider diluting the juice your family drinks. The average juice drink is chock full of high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors. Simply dilute your juice by adding 20% water. You save money and your children get a drink with less high fructose corn syrup in it.   Taking just a few of these simple steps can ensure healthy eating habits that last a lifetime while saving you money at the very same time.