As a personal trainer and mother of three, I often analyze the reasons for childhood obesity and how to combat this. If it was as simple as cutting out school birthday parties and restructuring the cafeteria lunch, that would be great, but I know it goes far beyond this. Even if your children eat healthy the entire school day, it is more important that you, as parents, are teaching healthy habits outside of school hours. And keeping your children active will help their physical and mental health to help combat obesity. Here are the reasons for childhood obesity and how we can tackle this:
1. Skipping Breakfast
A busy morning is no excuse for not feeding your child breakfast. Children that eat breakfast perform better on tests, have a more balanced mood, more energy and weigh less than children that skip breakfast. Make sure you feed your child breakfast. Skipping breakfast is one of the top reasons for childhood obesity.
2. Sugar Laden Cereal
A sugary breakfast is a wasted breakfast because this will contribute to weight gain and a sugar crash. And the last thing you want to do is send your children to school when they will have a drop in their energy levels as a result of the breakfast you served. The resolution is make some eggs, oatmeal or serve a low sugar cereal.
3. Avoiding the Outdoors
Do you find yourself avoiding sending your children outdoors for their safety? Children that play outdoors have more confidence, energy, and a decreased risk of obesity. To play it safe you can have your child play in your yard or take a family trip to your local park to make memories that will last a lifetime.
4. Eating Unhealthy Snacks
What are the snacks in your pantry? The majority of your snacks for both you and your family should be in your refrigerator and consist of fruits and veggies. This is a major way to combat childhood obesity! Your pantry should be stocked with oatmeal, beans and brown rice. Make eating for health a lifestyle for both you and your family!
5. Not Playing Sports
If you never picked up a ball and a bat, how would you know whether or not you would enjoy baseball or softball? Give your kids this same opportunity by exposing them to different sports. By exposing them to a variety of sports they can decide what they like and also keep active. This is a great way to combat obesity and make new friends.
6. Having Sugar Laden Drinks
Stop giving your child juice boxes or sports drinks, because these are empty and unnecessary calories. The occasional juice box is okay but this should not be an everyday habit. You can combat childhood obesity by nurturing healthy habits!
7. Watching Too Much Television
All those mindless hours of watching television will rot your brain and add inches to your waistline, so why would you allow this for your children? Turn off the television and spent time doing an outdoor activity with your kids. Ride a bike together, go for a run, or play a game of tennis to have a great time together while staying lean and healthy together
I hope my tips on how you can combat childhood obesity will help you to feed your child for the betterment of their health. What will you make for your kids’ lunch? Hope they have a a great school year!