Obesity among kids is increasing at an alarming rate. What should you, as a parent, do to prevent this epidemic from spreading? These tips may help you:
1. Lead a healthy lifestyle – you can not teach a child healthy habits if they do not see the same habits in you. As the parent, you should serve as their role models. A lot of parents cheat and pretend to lead healthy lives only when their kids are looking. Be warned: kids see more than you think. By leading a healthy life, you will be acting responsibly as well as improving your own living condition.
2. Start young – make sure that you start training your kids to eat healthy foods as well as lead healthy lives early. This way, when they grow up, they'll be able to make healthy choices on their own. A lot of parents start feeding their children vegetables too late. This equals tantrums and poor compromises. When children learn at a very young age that vegetables can be delicious and good for them, they will be able to make healthy food choices without you having to resort to pleading.
3. Eat with your kids – a lot of families today eat separately or in front of the television. The dining experience has become isolated for each family member. What you need to do in order to encourage healthy eating habits is to eat as a family. This way, you will be able to monitor what your kids are eating, as well as bond as a family. When you dine with your kids, you will be encouraging them to eat slowly, leisurely and moderately. This will definitely help you raise healthy kids.
4. Encourage activity – the biggest mistake some parents make is thinking that being cooped up inside the house is better for the kids. They turn the television into some sort of babysitter for the child. You do not want your child to become a couch potato at such a young age. Kids have all this energy that's supposed to be spent playing and finding out more about the world. If they do not use that energy, it becomes fat. And having a fat child does not necessarily equal to having a healthy child. Try to encourage play and even sports for your kids.
5. Help your child meet new friends – unlike you, a child has yet to develop social skills. Because of this, you really should help kids make new friends. This will encourage your kid to become more active and play more. Try to set play dates with neighbors. You should also take the time to take your children to the park or any areas where they can learn how to meet other kids.
6. Be supportive – if your child is to lead a healthy lifestyle, you need to show him or her that doing so will make you proud. Have you ever experienced turning to food when you feel insecure or otherwise unsatisfied? Well, kids experience the same emotions. When you show love and support for your children, you should be able to help them be happy with who they are and not turn to negative influences.
7. Learn when to say "no" – whatever you do, you can not spoil your child. Remember that you are trying to get him or her to lead a healthy life because you love him or her. Keep your eye on the goal and be patient. A lot of parents today cave in to their children's wishes simply because they want to avoid the inconvenience of disciplining a child. However, you should realize that, as a parent, it is your responsibility to see to it that your child is sound psychologically and physically.
8. Vitamin supplements – remember that the nutrients in food might not be enough to fill the needs of your child. Because of this, it is important to give your kid some vitamin supplements. These are usually chewable and taste like candy, so you'll have no problem giving them to your child.
9. Check-ups – you need to make absolutely sure that your child is healthy. Because of this, it is important to visit the doctor and the dentist for regular check-ups. This encourages your child to see these people as friends rather than as scary monsters in white coats. Regular check-ups will also enable you to get tips on how to better raise the child.
10. Treats – of course, your child needs to be treated every once in a while. Every kid likes that. It is a part of growing up to like junk food. However, you should not make a habit out of it. By taking your kids to fast food places only once in a while, it will instill in their minds that junk food is not for regular consumption. This will help them keep their healthy lifestyles as they grow older.