Children and Obesity
Obesity has been proven to shorten your life and can seriously affect you mentally and physically. It often has its roots in childhood and obesity in children is growing at a frighteningly fast rate. There are more obese children now than ever before. Parents are letting their carelessness with their own diets spill over into their children’s lives.
Here are a few points to think about when trying to prevent obesity and health problems for your children.
Small children are normally energetic and often need snacks in-between meals. It is most important to choose healthy snacks for your children.
Alternative snacks can include:
- Vegetable snacks like carrot sticks and celery boats are a good and fun alternative to chips and “junk food” snacks.
- Fruit can be substituted for candies and sugar snacks.
Soda and sugar snacks like candy produce hyperactivity in many young children and will sow the seeds for problems later in life. It also leads to dental problems and the beginnings of obesity. It is good to keep these foods in check and use alternatives if possible. Sugar is a known addictive food in that the more you eat the more you want to eat. This can quickly escalate into a serious eating problem and can lead to obesity as the body stores excess sugar as fat.
Breakfast cereals are perhaps the biggest problems in children’s diets. Everyone is in a hurry in the morning and it is easy to reach for the cereal packet for a quick family breakfast. However be careful of these pre-sweetened cereals as they give unnecessary large amounts of sugar to your child’s system laying the grounds for sugar addiction. Now there are many alternatives to pre-sweetened cereals. There are many good tasting “healthy” cereals providing added fiber and less if any sugar. These are good for your children as they will give them a much more nutritious breakfast and not just fill them up with sugar and excess carbohydrates.
Fast food habits also begin when children are quite small. This is reinforced by extensive TV advertising and propaganda for these foods. It is almost inbred in us to eat hamburgers chips and other fast food. Children have an inborn liking for these foods and can easily become quite addicted to them. Limiting the amount of these foods that children eat is most important, as they are often high in fat, salt and sugar and growing kids need nutritious foods to develop properly.
Good eating habits begin when children are very young, so educating ourselves about healthy foods and passing on good habits to our children is essential. When you do this you cut the possibility of obesity in your children and the associated health risks.