Currently our society is showing clear evidence of an increase in child obesity. Recent research has highlighted that rates of obesity in some sections of society have more than doubled. Unfortunately amongst children the rate has tripled. The increase has been blamed on parents and carers who generally do not do enough to encourage healthy eating, instead opting for convenience with the purchase of readily available foods and store prepared meals. Failure to address this problem early will result in children carrying obesity problems into an adulthood.
Unfortunately in some families the trend towards obesity can be hereditary. Even if this is the case, there are still many steps than a parent can take to help prevent their child developing obesity. Of course the primary factor is the child’s nutrition. Steps should be taken where possible to prevent children over consuming fast foods or snack foods that are low in nutritional value.
It can be difficult to encourage children to eat properly. Really it’s up to you. You should start feeding them better quality food at an early age and begin to train them into proper eating behaviour. If you don’t all eat together and spend time at the dinner table eating properly, this will be difficult. If you allow them to eat their dinner quickly and rush away from the table, you’re selling bad habits for the future. Believe it or not the slower a child eats the less food normally they will consume.
Recently across the USA and the UK in particular, a trend has developed where food is used as a reward. You see this happening with school achievements. They are given ice cream or sweets for doing well with school reports, sports, or even homework. Subconsciously this reinforces the pleasure of eating, and in later years can lead to problems of obesity.
Ways is that you can counteract unhealthy snack eating is to have convenient healthy foods such as small prepackaged salads handy in your fridge. You could also have for example, small fruit salads which you can keep from browning by adding a touch of lemon juice over the sliced fruit. Carrot sticks are also a tasty idea, and perhaps a few small portions of smoothies with pure yogurt would be another good nutritional choice to have in the fridge.
While you may not be able to eliminate every undesirable snack choice, you can certainly cut down on your children’s choices by doing your best to eliminate the less desirable items from your kitchen. When you do this then you’re not having to worry so much about children’s party cakes and possible health risks because their normal diet is usually healthy and nutritious.
With both parents often working and busy, a healthy food choice may not always be the most convenient option. The foods that are higher in fat and other ingredients which make the food less healthy, are often the most easily available.
There is no doubt especially for children, that healthy foods are a great source of energy. Children who eat healthy food are more active than children used to a diet of fatty and sugary food. Children who are more active or also more healthy because more calories are burned especially during some children’s vigorous bouts of play. So do your child in a favour and teach them healthy eating while they’re young.